This section contains:
1) Note on customer service
2) Update on United Health Care Contract (and comments on opportunities for improvement in Healthcare)
3) Skin Cancer Screening Exam wait times and what are things we need to work you in for.
4) Read that NYT article on hair loss? Look below for my inaugural blog on the topic at the very bottom of this page.
1️⃣ CUSTOMER SERVICE NOTE:
By the way, my goal is to stay as an independent business focused on patient care, my team and the community. I call it the HEB model. Great service and care is the goal for 2024 and beyond.
So, is it just me or is EVERYTHING taking longer to get done and made more complicated by all the technology that was supposed to make us more efficient? 🤷♀️
I have a great team to help you but if you are ever stuck, can't get a result or answer for something please know I am here to help get your issue resolved.
You can text me directly at 512-799-7681and I will make sure we get your issue resolved for you.
Now don't abuse that or I will let you know;)
PLEASE DO NOT TEXT ME:
- clinical photos or clinical questions. Ever. That is an office visit so proper documentation needs to be done and charges will apply.
If you have an urgent need for after hour care that cannot wait until the next day please go to an urgent care center near you.
Call 911 if it is an emergency.
-request for office visits. Call the office first and ask my team member to discuss with me your request.
-prescription refill requests. Call your pharmacy first and ask them to send a refill request. Call my office first and ask them to check with me about a refill.
I meet with my team every night to address all the calls that came in that day but it can take 48-72 hours to fulfill some requests.
2️⃣REGARDING UNITED HEALTHCARE:
NOTE: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO UNITED MEDICARE PLANS JUST UNITED PPO. IT IS BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE UNITED MEDICARE PLANS.
I sent my termination notice to United on 10/1/23 due to low reimbursement rates but never heard anything back from them.
So, as of January 1, 2024 I will be out of network with United PPO.
My plan is to reduce the volume push needed when insurance companies pay below Medicare rates and never give cost of living increases. This will allow more time with patients, less time running and less staff admin time so they can also focus on your care.
*What does it mean if I go out of network with United in 2024?
I can still see you out of network and file your claims for you even I am out of network with United (or any other insurance company by the way).
Prices are listed on my website. I hope to continue to be your physician despite what happens. I feel grateful to have worked hard to acquire the skills to help people.
Thanks, and together maybe we can make the system better now and in the future!
We think we are paying our health insurance premiums for health care, not to make companies like United one of top performers on S&P 500, right ahead of EXXON MOBILE by the way.
3️⃣REGARDING WAITING FOR SKIN EXAMS:
Please know we are working extra hours to take care of everyone. There is a worsening physician shortage and people are catching up on care delayed due to pandemic.
We are prioritizing acute rashes, lesions at risk for skin cancer and other urgent needs.
I appreciate your patience and understanding.
THREE NOTES ON SKIN CANCER SCREENING EXAMS:
1) Do you need one? A lot of people don't.
But we do need to promptly evaluate lesions that change or are unusual.
Per CDC web site,
"The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening (total body examination by a doctor) to find skin cancers early. This recommendation is for people who do not have a history of skin cancer and who do not have any suspicious moles or other spots. Report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor. Also talk to your doctor if you are at increased risk of skin cancer."
2) A skin cancer screening exam is to screen for cancers and educate you about your cancer risks/how to reduce risks.
It is a complex visit that requires concentration and careful charting. They take extra time both in the office and after you leave the office.
If you have other skin issues/questions we will need to schedule another visit for the problems not related to the screening. Please be respectful of this as we are attending to the needs of all our patients.
3) I am booked out a few months for screening exams.
It is OK but if you have a concerning lesion, we will get you in within 2 weeks. See note below about how to reach me if you have trouble booking and you are concerned about a cancer.
WHAT I WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT SKIN CANCERS:
80% of melanomas are new so they usually come up between "screenings".
It is important that you know the red flags. If any lesion on your skin (especially if new) is black, itches for more than a month, changes over weeks to months or is an "ugly duckling" that looks different I need to see you within 2 weeks.
Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are most common, also are new and high-risk areas are head/neck areas.
Many people say they, "looked like a pimple" when they first appeared. So, if a "pimple" or "blemish" or "scratch" does not go away in 60 days I need to see it within 30 days. If it is growing quickly, I need to see you within 14 days.
SO HOW CAN YOU REACH US IF YOU NOTICE SOMETHING UNUSUAL OR CHANGING?
Please call us at 512-302-4047 and my team will get you in within 1-2 weeks depending on your flexibility.
You can also send us an email any time in the "Contact Us" section at bottom of this page and we will call you to schedule.
IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE BOOKING FOR A VERY URGENT MATTER
(LIKE A CONCERN FOR SKIN CANCER)
You can send me a TEXT at 512-799-7681 and I will work with my team to get you taken care of in a timely fashion.
**But please always call the office or send email first and do not send any photos to this number.**
COVID 19 (and 20 and 21 and 22 and now 23) POLICY
If you OR a household member have:
-BEEN EXPOSED TO ANYONE THAT TESTED + TO COVID 19 or SUSPECTED + FOR COVID 19 IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS
-EXPERIENCED TEMP > 100F . LOSS OF SMELL OR TASTE, NASAL CONGESTION OR HEAD COLD SYMPTOMS IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS
-COUGHING, OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH IN THE IN THE LAST 14 DAYS.
-DIARRHEA, VOMITING, NAUSEA, BELLY PAIN IN THE LAST 14 DAYS
Please reschedule your appointment for 30 days out or change to telemedicine visit.
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1600 West 38th Street, suite number 315, Austin, TX 78731, US
Phone number: (512) 302-4047
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Monday -Friday : 9am-12:30 and 1:30-5pm
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