Articles tagged with "insurance"

Making Up the Difference: Otolaryngologists find ways to provide care for under- and uninsured patients

Doctors Rima and Robert DeFatta, married otolaryngologists who work at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, spend about an hour each day dealing with insurance-related hassles. About 20 percent of their patients are un- or underinsured, so the two physicians spend time dashing off letters to insurance companies, re-jiggering treatment plans and helping patients access available resources. Recently, Rima DeFatta, MD, had to figure out how to diagnose a patient who presented with symptoms that suggested possible neurologic involvement.

A Blessing and a Curse: Health care reform comes at a steep price

There is a Chinese proverb that is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is, “May you live in interesting times,” and the curse is, “May you live in interesting times.” All of us would like things to stabilize into a constant, comfortable and predictable environment for us to live our lives, raise our families and care for our patients. We are entering the most complex and challenging period that medicine has experienced since the 1960s when Medicare was introduced. From now on, everything we have come to know and are comfortable with in our professional lives will change.

Middle Ear Implants Offer Potential: New breed of devices may stimulate compliance, experts say

For decades, otolaryngologists have been frustrated by the refusal of some patients with hearing loss to use hearing aids. Statistics on noncompliance vary, but there is general agreement that only about 20 percent to 25 percent of Americans with treatable hearing loss use hearing aids. The problem seems to be more acute for people with mild hearing loss: A consumer survey conducted by the nonprofit Better Hearing Institute in 2009 found that fewer than 10 percent of people with mild hearing loss use amplification and that even among people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss, only four in 10 use amplification.

Socioeconomic Disparity Seen in Families of Hearing-Impaired Children

What are the disparities in socioeconomic status and health care utilization in hearing-impaired children? Background: Multiple barriers potentially contribute to health disparities experienced by children with hearing loss. These can include communication barriers, fear, mistrust and frustration with the health care system, medical and non-medical costs and the logistics of care. Although health disparities have been […]

The Opt-Outs: Otolaryngologists extol the benefits of third-party independence

When describing to the curious the benefits of opting out of both Medicare and private insurance, Gerard J. Gianoli, MD, president of The Ear and Balance Institute in Baton Rouge, La., often recalls one particular example: During one 90-day global period about five years ago, after an eight-hour resection of a skull-based glomus tumor, post-operative ICU care and several days of inpatient care and the usual post-operative office visits, he received a total reimbursement of $500.

Health Reform to Insure 32 Million: Are you ready for them?

The new health system reform law is expected to reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million people, and that means more paying patients for physician practices. Many doctors, however, worry that the law’s lack of Medicare payment reform and medical malpractice caps will exacerbate a looming physician shortage. This raises questions about how successful the law will be in increasing health care access.