Health eNewsLetter - August 2015

Patient Education

Dr. Chapman at the her alma mater - the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Both of our physicians have been dedicated to patient teaching since we were medical students at the University of Chicago. And Rheumatology and Dermatology staff participate in monthly staff conferences, to look at ways to improve your care. Education of both staff and patients is our priority. We believe that an engaged, well-educated patient is in a better position to implement effective care plans.
 
Drs. Woodbury and Chapman are members of the American Medical Association, the Tennessee Medical Association, the Academy of Dermatology, the American College of Rheumatology, the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Society for Mohs Surgery, the Chicago Dermatologic Society, the Memphis Dermatologic Society, and the Tennessee Dermatologic Society. We stock educational materials from many of these organizations to help in patient teaching. If you want more information about your condition, just ask us at your next visit.

 

Advocacy in Healthcare

Advocacy in healthcare is a part of Dr. Woodbury's practice. Here we see (left to right) Memphis Medical Society President and Family Practitioner Oran Lee Berkenstock MD with Dr.
Dr. Woodbury, Tennessee Senator Lee Harris (D-33rd district), and Family Practitioner Perry Rothrock MD, at the Memphis Medical Society headquarters, 1067 Cresthaven, 08/13/2015.

Would you like to become more engaged in the
politics of your healthcare?

Dr. Woodbury generally attends the American Academy of Dermatology Legislative Conference, in Washington DC, this year on September 27th to 29th 2015. He also generally meets with many of the western Tennessee state senators and representatives, in the summer-fall of the calendar year.
If you would like more information on these meetings or perhaps to join one, please drop us Dr. Woodbury a return Email or phone call.

Legislative Corner: Three federal issues

Legislative Corner: Three federal issues

There are three pieces of federal legislation in Washington D.C. which you may wish to know about.

1. Consider OPPOSING the federal repeat of the tax on tanning salons. We know that indoor tanning contributes to skin cancer, especially indoor tanning that starts in childhood. Consider asking your federal representative to OPPOSE what's called H.R. 2698, the Repeal of the federal Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning, since one worries that this repeal will lead to more use of indoor tanning.

2. Consider SUPPORTING The Patient Access to Treatment Act (HR 1600) which would limit the ability of insurance companies to pass expenses of biological treatments for psoriasis and lupus onto patients and their families.. H.R. 1600 has been introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)/ It would limit cost-sharing requirements for drugs in a specialty tier (typically Tier IV or higher) such as Enbrel and Humira injections to the co-pay dollar amount applicable to drugs in a non-preferred brand tier (typically Tier III).  It’d be great if your federal representative would consider becoming a co-sponsor of HR 1600.

3. Consider SUPPORTING what's called The Medicare Advantage (MA) Participant Bill of Rights (H.R. 4998). This bill would Improve transparency in the MA insurance market by prohibiting MA organizations from removing providers mid-year from health plans without cause, and also by requiring that the panel of physicians on such insurance plans be finalized at least 60 days before the Open Enrollment period starts for these plans. It’d be great if your federal representative would consider becoming a co-sponsor of HR 4998.

To reach your elected officials:1-888-434-6200.

The Tennessee Senators are Senator Bob Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander; The western Tennessee representatives are Representative Steve Cohen and Representative Stephen Fincher.

The Arkansas Senators are Senator Tom Cotton and Senator John Boozman. Representative Rick Crawford's district is eastern Arkansas.

The Mississippi Senators are Senator Thad Cochran and Senator Roger Wicker. Representative Kelly Trent's district is northern and northeastern Mississippi. 

You can reach your federal representatives through 1-888-434-6200,  after entering your zip code. The AMA's phone action network line will then channel you to the secretary of your representative, so you can express your feelings about matters of importance to you. We hope that your healthcare is one of those important matters.
Respectfully,

 

Vicki gets ready to X-ray patient

Rheumatology and Dermatology Medical Assistant Vicki gets ready to X-ray a patient. But did you know that there's a lot of administration of your healthcare services that goes on before and after you're evaluated and treated? 

Since about 1972, all out-patients in the United States have been assigned a diagnosis code - called an ICD9 code - for International Classification of Diseases 9th Edition - at the time of seeking services.

However, on October 1st 2015, because of a decision made some time ago by our federal government, all of the ICD9 codes will suddenly become obsolete, and be replaced by ICD10 codes. That means that the number of diagnosis codes in use in our country will go from about 14,000 to over 70,000!

So be patient with your physicians and nurses, especially in early October, since we will have to become familiar with the new codes in order to correctly submit your healthcare claims to insurance. This coding change will apply to all outpatients services, for all fifty states, on October 1st. This sudden change is like the Y2K for healthcare. A phase-in period would have been nice!

Emily on Medical Politics

Medical Student Emily Woodbury was president of Women in Politics while an undergraduate at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, in Washington DC, from 2008 to 2011. Emily is currently preparing to go into a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, after graduating from Columbia University next year.

Her advice about medical politics: "don't get mad, get active."

Don't forget to use good sunscreen

The US Food and Drug Administration—which regulates sunscreens in this country—has now issued a new set of rules on how products promoted as sunscreens can be advertised. The effective date of these new rules was December of 2012.
 
Some tips on selecting a good sunscreen:

  1. Look for the statement “broad spectrum.” Broad spectrum means the sunscreen protects against the worst ultraviolet rays—which are called UVB rays—but also UVA rays—which have been implicated in wrinkling and also contribute to skin cancer. (Older sunscreens didn’t have much UVA protection.)

  2. Look at the SPF on the label, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. This number measures the length of time one can be in the sun before developing  a sunburn with the sunscreen on, compared to how long one could be in the sun with no sunscreen before a burn occurs. So SPF 10 would imply that one could be in the sun 10 times longer when using that sunscreen.

  3. Note that the SPF number is misleading since it implies you’ve used the required amount of sunscreen. Even an SPF 150 sunscreen is not worth much if you’ve sweated it all of!

  4. The statement “waterproof” is now prohibited on sunscreens. “Water resistant” is allowed but it only measures ability to protect from a burn after either 40 or 80 minutes in a pool. So reapply that sunscreen every two hours! And you can look for cream, gel, spray, or aerosol forms of sunscreen.

  5. The FDA is still studying whether to restrict claims of SPFs over 50 (such products are more expensive without much additional protection). Keep tuned for further developments.

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