(Feel free to watch the video announcement, or read the following in written form:)
Happy New Year to everyone!
In this announcement:
Navigating Healthcare System Challenges; and Vaccines and a New Cancer Screening Test
1) Navigating Healthcare System Challenges
* We all know the healthcare system is complex and full of challenges
* Please be aware that health insurance plans regularly alter policies at the start of each calendar year: prior authorization needs, coverage policies, deductibles, etc.
* We don’t have control over any of this, and are not aware of the changes to your particular plan, but do our best to work with you in decision-making to account for these changes whenever possible.
* Note regarding “Annual Physical” visits: insurance plans define these as very basic visits – BP, height, weight, physical exam, conduct appropriate cancer screening and review preventative/lifestyle health considerations. Discussions regarding any other topic involving decision-making are defined as a separate/additional visit, and as such, typically are processed as such. Typical practices do not allow for such, given the short visit lengths, but our longer appointment times allow for the combination of visits, which patients prefer and appreciate, out of convenience. Just be aware that insurance plans define these separately, and thus will typically generate a copay and or apply toward deductibles. If you prefer to simply have a “physical”, with only the basics (as defined by insurance plans), we certainly can accommodate this – just let us know!
* New patients: we appreciate your patience with us in assimilating you and your needs – we understand your want to accomplish various actions immediately, but doing so often takes time and steps that are not fully under our control. We do our best and work hard to meet your needs; no doubt, we all want to create positive, beneficial relationships which each other, which starts with solid initial foundations. Thank you for your patience with us!
2) Clinical considerations
* Should I Get Vaccinated?
Whether flu, COVID, RSV, shingles, or pneumonia vaccines, our practice-wide response is this: we support national guidelines/recommendations, but we also support individuals’ decisions which may differ from such. We know that many factors and variables are unaccounted for with national guidelines, so ultimately, it’s a case-by-case decision. Please talk to your practitioner for more details.
* New Cancer Screening Testing Available
We make available the “Galleri” test for 50+ cancers (not just cancer risk, but actual cancer). This novel and unique tool has been in the media as it is being used by Dana Farber and within certain MGH projects/initiatives. It has a very low false positive rate (0.5%), it detects the actual presence of cancer, not simply the risk for cancer, identifies where in the body the cancer signal is coming from with high accuracy, and is a simple blood draw: no fasting, no procedure, no time off work. Ask your practitioner about this testing, if interested!
Katie Kenny, NP is now an IFM Certified Practitioner (IFMCP)! This is a prestigious and well-deserved accomplishment, after many many hours spent in educational courses over a couple of years, as well as passing a rigorous exam this late fall. Congratulations to Katie!