Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

When a colonoscopy (or other insurance approved screening ) might not be free

From the January 2012 blog posting ,Place the frustration of cost uncertainty on health insurers
by Kevin Pho at KevinMD.com

As we enter 2012, many patients will be changing to new insurance plans.

And for a few, deductibles will be rising.

One thing that’s emphasized in the Affordable Care Act, however, is that preventive services would remain “free.”

However, consider this story of a man, who thought he wouldn’t have to pay for his screening colonoscopy, instead was charged over $1,000 for the procedure.

From USA Today,

Bill Dunphy thought his colonoscopy would be free.

His insurance company told him it would be covered 100 percent, with no copayment from him and no charge against his deductible. The nation’s 1-year-old health law requires most insurance plans to cover all costs for preventive care including colon cancer screening. So Dunphy had the procedure in April.

Then the bill arrived: $1,100.

The reason? During the procedure, polyps were found and rightfully removed. But in doing so, it changed the colonoscopy from a screening procedure to a diagnostic procedure, thus making it applicable to the patient’s deductible.

Such semantics are important, as insurance companies will seize them at every opportunity to pass on costs to both patients and hospitals….

Read the entire article by Kevin Pho

 

January 4, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quick, Simple Test Can Detect Concussion in Athletes

Quick, Simple Test Can Detect Concussion in Athletes

Screening superior to other sideline tests in spotting early signs of brain trauma, researchers say

HealthDay news image

 

 

From the February 13, 2011 Health Day news item by Robert Preidt

SATURDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) — A quick, simple test done on the sidelines of sports events can accurately detect concussion in athletes, a new study says.

The screening — known as the King-Devick test — is superior to current sideline tests that can fail to assess a wide range of brain functions, according to the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

For this test, athletes are asked to read single digit numbers on index-sized cards. Normally, it takes about one minute. Any increase in the time needed to complete the test suggests the athlete has suffered a concussion, particularly if the delay is more than five seconds longer than the athlete’s baseline test time.

The researchers said the test can detect impairments in eye movement, attention, language and other symptoms of concussion. This study of 39 boxers found that test times improved an average of one second for those who didn’t experience head trauma, but worsened 11.1 seconds for those who did suffer head trauma and 18 seconds for those who were knocked out.

The study appears online in the journal Neurology.

“This rapid screening test provides an effective way to detect early signs of concussion, which can improve outcomes and hopefully prevent repetitive concussions,” senior author Dr. Laura Balcer, a professor of neurology, ophthalmology and epidemiology, said in a university news release.

“If validated in future studies, this test has the potential to become a standard sideline test for athletes,” she added.

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania, news release, Feb. 2, 2011

 

 

 


February 15, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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