Cornerstone Private Practice is there for me and my family… and that to me is not just insurance, it’s assurance.

Our Spring 2013 Newsletter

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Spring is here and so are allergies, travel, and more!  Check out our Spring 2013 newsletter to help overcome allergies, celebrate our nutritionist and the Cornerstone Striders as they ran the Shamrock Half-Marathon, and learn even more stories about how Cornerstone stands out in the crowd!

 

Merry Christmas! – Christmas 2012 Newsletter

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Check our our Christmas newsletter for some fun tips on keeping healthy during the delicious, easy-to-over-indulge holiday season, and learn some tricks to not only making a New Year’s Resolution but keeping it up!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Our Fall Newsletter: October 2012

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Some things are changing up here at Cornerstone!  Check out our Fall newsletter for updates, introductions, and new Corporate Programs being introduced!

 

More on Private Medicine

Concierge Medicine: Your Questions Answered

In the October 2012 issue, we investigated whether it was worth spending $1,500 or more a year on a physician who truly pays attention to you. Here, everything you need to know about what it would cost, what’s included and how to find a concierge doctor that’s right for you

by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin
woman doctor and patient image 

What will it cost me?

·         The retainers that concierge docs charge annually range from about $1100 to $2100, although some doctors in mega-bucks neighborhoods charge much more.

·         Note that there are also direct-pay docs who accept fees on a month-to-month basis, but they do not provide all of the amenities described in the next column.

What is usually included?

·         The annual comprehensive wellness physical, including a blood panel and in some practices, multiple screenings and tests.

·         24/7 access to physician by cell phone, email and text.

·         Same-day office visits, with little or no waiting

·         Care from your own physician if you get sick when you’re out of town.

·         Plenty of time to talk over routine concerns during office visits

·         Easily accessed and meticulously maintained electronic medical records, sometimes available to you on line, always ready to be sent to specialists or the ER.

·         Facilitated referrals to specialists, meaning that your doctor will contact other doctors for you, arrange your appointments, discuss your case in detail with the specialist, and follow up with you about your visit to the specialist.

·         Assistance you’re your physician in obtaining pre-authorization and pinpointing the best specialist in network with your health care provider.

·         Focus on preventive medicine, rather than reactive medicine

·         In some practices, but definitely not all, a concierge doc will also care for your post-pediatrician-age child, up to age 26, included in your retainer fee.

·         Some docs offer online services such as medical information, prescription refills, secure online e-mail with one’s personal physician, online lab results and access to digital x-ray reports and images

What is not included in the concierge retainer?

·         The co-payment for office visits, except for the annual comprehensive physical.  (Usually, your co-payment is listed on the plastic insurance card you keep in your wallet. My co-payment, for instance, for my individual Anthem PPO Saver plan is $30 per office visit.)

·         Lab tests, scans and screenings conducted in facilities outside the concierge practice.

·         Appointments with specialists

·         Procedures, surgery and hospitalization, including visits to the emergency room.

How can signing on with concierge doctor save me money?

·         You may be able to switch to a high-deductible health insurance policy, thus reducing your monthly payments. (See: “What kind of health insurance plans work with concierge medicine?,” below, for more on this.)

One of our patients shared this nice write-up from More magazine covering the basics of private/concierge medicine. It’s a quick read in a Q & A format and covers many of the common questions about this practice model. Of course there’s no substitute for the real thing–set up a time to come in and meet us in person to see if we’re a good fit for your healthcare needs!

West Nile rapidly increasing

West Nile virus is threatening to becoming the issue it was a decade ago. Here’s a short story on it from the Associated Press.

And here’s a link to the Arbonet Maps put out by the US Geological Survey through the Centers for Disease Control.  You can click on your state to see how many cases have been reported there.

Please take care to follow all the mosquito control precautions you’ve heard before (like eliminating standing water, wearing protective clothing and using repellant when necessary)

Primary Care Doctors Burning Out

Some very concerning findings in a new study by the Mayo clinic.

When looking at general internists and family physicians the study found “more than half of the doctors in each of those areas suffered some form of burnout.”  Another specialty, ER medicine, was even worse.

In my opinion this is very concerning, especially in light of the ever greater responsibility being placed on our “front line” doctors.

As a Mayo clinic physician Tait Shanafelt put it, Docs who are burned out are more likely to make mistakes.”

One bright spot, physicians who practice preventative medicine reported the lowest levels of burnout.

Add this to the list of good reasons to consider Cornerstone Private Practice, where a big part of our focus is on prevention and proactive care!

To read an article about this study click here.

Our July 2012 newsletter (there’s something special for summer inside!)

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Cornerstone has exclusive technology for catching skin cancer

 

Learn more about Cornerstone’s exclusive technology, a special summertime offer, Jessica’s recent nerve-wracking leap, Dr. Dowd’s family vacation and some ideas for sweet treats.  It’s all in this month’s edition of In Your Corner: July 2012!

In Your Corner: June 2012

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Woo We!  It took a bit to get here, but summer is finally here and in full swing!  Don’t forget to check out this month’s edition of In Your Corner  to help fight the heat, the sun, and get a sneak peak of our new column, the Cornerstone Difference!  Happy Monday!

“You are walking down a cool mountain pathway…”

Wondering what that title has to do with medical care?!  I’ll give you a hint: hot flashes…

I recently came across a new study about a very different approach to menopausal hot flashes that I thought was very interesting. For those women that get them, hot flashes can be an uncomfortable and frustrating problem.  I’ve had many conversations with women who want to lessen their hot flashes, but don’t really want to take medication.  Unfortunately the treatment options that fit that description are not always as efficacious.

However there may be a new option on the horizon: hypnosis.  At last month’s meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, a study was presented that showed a dramatic 70-80% drop in hot flash frequency and severity!  (For those people interested it was a randomized, controlled study.)  There also seemed to be beneficial effects on sleep and depression.

Hopefully more study will occur to confirm it, but these findings seem promising, and there isn’t much of a downside to trying it.  I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

(Not so) Dumb Jock

Springtime is our family’s busiest time of year when it comes to sports and extracurricular activities. You might have noticed many of our recent posts have touched on various aspects of sports and exercise. Today’s post is about how a generalization we’ve all heard, “dumb jock”, may not be so, well…smart!

A recent study out of Sweden looked at how athletes versus non-athletes did on standardized testing of cognitive function. They looked at how elite soccer players, and “regular” soccer players, compared with standardized normals. They found that both groups of players performed significantly better than average on the tests of executive function, and further that the elite players outperformed than the “regular” players. The study went on to show a correlation between players doing well on the cognitive testing, and having an increased likelihood of scoring more goals and assists during a subsequent season!

Hmm, maybe “Sports Nerd” would be a little more accurate…!

To read more about this study, click here:

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