Hurricane Harvey: Where to Give and How to Help »
In the wake of a disaster, communities outside the affected area want to know how to help. A variety of reputable organizations ha…
In the wake of a disaster, communities outside the affected area want to know how to help. A variety of reputable organizations ha…
One out of every seven Americans will face a substance addiction. Here are some resources to help you help a loved one, and notice…
The holiday festivities are over, but January doesn't have to be a drag. It's actually the best time to finish projects and organize your life – all while having a little fun.
WARNING TO ALL NEW PATIENTS! Being new to the area, I did my research in finding a new Physician that I could look forward to trusting for the next several years to come, and to recommending to my other friends who are also new to the area. I am 30 years old, and plan to start a family soon. I have wonderful insurance coverage, and am fortunate to be able to have my choice of the many great medical facilities in South Carolina. I found great reviews on Lexington Family Practice, and specifically Dr Hicks, so I was happy to call and ask if they were accepting new patients. I was confused when the office told me that they were accepting new patients, but that I would first have to come in for a ‘Meet and Greet’, as they did not accept wellness exams/physicals as first time appointments. I had never heard of this before, but based on great reviews, I took their advice and scheduled a time to leave (my new job) early, and come by to meet the doctor, so that I could proceed with scheduling my exam that was well past due! On the date of my ‘Meet and Greet’, I met with the doctor for approximately 10 minutes, and then was asked to proceed to the desk to schedule my physical, which I did. When scheduling my physical exam, the doctors office advised that I complete my up-coming physical exam in two separate visits. I have had a physical exam, every year, for the last 15 years, and I have never been asked to do this before. Knowing that I could not ask my new employer to let me out of work TWO more times, and knowing that this would mean I would have to pay TWO co-pays, and potentially additional fees based on my insurance coverage that allows one physical per calendar year, I declined. My (complete) physical exam, two weeks later, took approximately 20 minutes, and was seemingly a pleasant experience. I then received a bill in the mail for $116.00, that my insurance company refused to pay. Although Lexington Family Practice did not mention this in their request for the new patient meet and greet, Insurance companies do NOT pay for "meet and greets". In speaking with multiple other doctors, and the insurance company, this is not a normal practice, unless it is something that the doctor offers as a complimentary service to their new and prospect patients. I called the office and all of the above policies were confirmed as policies in place by Lexington Family Practice. I was told that sometimes they “tell people to wait until something is wrong to come in” so that they don’t get charged. I was offered a 25% discount on my bill for the meet and greet, but was told that I would have to pay it. This is not a matter of money, but I do feel that all future patients should be warned. I have never experienced anything like this before! I can tell you that I absolutely MUST know that I can trust my medical providers to also be looking out for my best interest. I feel as though I was, in a way, scammed by Lexington Family Practice, and I will absolutely be finding a new provider to move forward with in the Columbia area. Additionally, I have warned my friends who were searching to find a new office as well!!! Do NOT wait until there is “something wrong” to get your annual wellness exam! My mother was diagnosed with cancer in April; cancer that an annual physical screening caught. Do NOT agree to visits that a doctors office recommends that don’t even have a code in existence for your insurance company. Do not agree to have a 20 minute physical in two separate appointments, that will be both an additional financial burden, as well as an inconvenience. Do not select Lexington Family Practice if you want a clinic that has their patients best interest at heart. Sincerely, a very Disappointed ex-patient Shocked
This office will not return your phone call and will leave you without your medication. Very Poor service.
I've been going here for years my original dr was dr Brearly he was the BEST ! When he left I was sent to Coker he's nice but took me off of all of my thyroid meds & ive been SO sick since . I call today bc I'm so sick & the RUDE lady says they no longer accept my insurance & that if I can't pay upfront don't come ? Never have I ever been treated like this there before . I explained how sick I am but she didn't care ! It's a shame this place went downhill so fast after he left . I don't reccomend this group to anyone ! I even said I'd pay if she would tell me how much my blood panel would be but she couldn't give me a number ! Please save yourself the trouble & find somewhere else
I was so sick and trying to find a doctor who was accepting new patients. When I called they told me they were accepting new patients, but only ones with specific health insurance. I had the kind of insurance they required. Then they told me they had to see my records from my previous doctor before they could decide if they would accept me as a new patient... I have never heard of anything like this before at ANY primary care doctor I have ever been to. So, fine, I send them my records and they call to tell me they are reviewing them. 2 weeks later I still have not heard back from them. I call to find out what is going on and they tell me my records are still "being reviewed" and they "haven't decided yet" and they'll call me back when they have. A week later and I am still waiting to be called back. Ridiculous! Needless to say I went elsewhere. Very suspicious practice.
A number of the support staff are seriously awful and do not seem to care. They also do not return calls as they should enough to be a problem. It seems random. At the same time, they force you to try and get an appointment even to refill the most basic prescriptions. I like my doctor and the other docs seem fine but these offices are run very poorly. I will be forced to change after a decade of these practices do not make marked progress very soon.
It feels like they are getting commission on tests. I never seem to actually find out what's wrong with me, but then they tell me to come back in a month. Why, if you can't figure out what's wrong now, would you know in a month?
Good doctors but the support staff is lazy they won't even call in my refills for blood pressure meds after calling several times . They just ignore your calls. Don't care if you die or not.
This facility is under horrible management. If you attempt to call them good luck on a pick up. You will receive a message to leave a number and this office will call you back when they feel like it. I had hope due to it being near my home, but I am moving on to a different doctor. Hopefully one who actually cares about you and not about if your insurance is good enough.
I agree with beware happened to me today only $246.00 for a 47.00 iron test. Shame on you
Physicians and surgeons help to keep people - from infants to the elderly - as healthy as possible. These individuals provide diagnoses and treatments for a wide variety of ailments, and preventative care and early detection for more serious illnesses. Whether you love or hate going to the doctor, the fact is your physician is there to listen to your health concerns, take preventative measures against diseases and advise you on your options for staying in tip-top shape.
In 2013, there were more than 1 million doctors of medicine in the U.S., over 854,000 of which were active. Additionally, in 2012, there were about 18,000 active general surgeons in the country. It's important to know which type of physician or surgeon you need, how to choose the best one, and account for other considerations in order to stay healthy.
Patients can choose from a wide variety of physicians depending on doctor specialty and what problems they are experiencing. Here are a few of the most common types of physicians that you may see in your lifetime:
Your GP is the doctor that you go to for regular checkups, vaccines and to identify health issues. GPs can treat many different illnesses and injuries, from the common cold to a broken arm. If your health requires a second opinion or expert care, the GP will refer you to a specialist who has the skills to focus in on the issue.
Heart attacks and heart disease are some of the most common afflictions seen across the country, making cardiologists important to your long-term health. These physicians specialize in studying and treating the heart and related diseases.
Other than a GP, the dentist is likely the most common physician you'll ever see. These professionals work with the human mouth, ensuring that your teeth and gum health are up to par. Patients typically go to the dentist twice a year.
Dermatologists are focused on skin-related issues and diseases, from skin cancers, to acute acne, eczema, psoriasis, and general cosmetic concerns like aging and scars. Most will also perform annual or semi-annual mole checks to screen for any signs of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
If you have a number of sinus infections or have had your tonsils taken out, you've likely seen an ENT specialist. ENTs handle ailments related to the ear, nose and throat, often related to taking out tonsils and treating hearing issues.
For many women, their gynecologist and obstetrician are the same person. These professionals work with the female reproductive system to focus on reproductive health, fertility issues, prenatal care, options for new and expectant mothers, neonatal care and childbirth. OB/GYNs can also help in the early detection of breast or cervical cancer.
There are obviously a number of physicians that you can choose from, but how do you know if they're the best choice for you? Here are a few considerations to help you pick a physician:
Look at Your Insurance
Before you get down to the details, you need to verify which doctors are covered by your insurance and whether they are in or out of your carrier's network. Rates may be cheaper if the doc is in network – a doctor can be covered by your insurance but not necessarily in network. Out of network is typically more expensive. Doctors often add and drop plans, so it's important to ensure that your options are compatible with your insurance plan. Doing your homework will help you avoid unexpected expenses.
Check for Board Certification
Your physician should be certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties. Doctors must earn a medical degree from a qualified school, complete three to seven years of residency training, be licensed by a state medical board and pass one or more ABMS exams to be certified.
Examine the Reviews
Reviews of a doctor can reveal a lot about what your experience may be like. People may grade on staff friendliness, availability and effectiveness of treatment. Looking at these evaluations and getting recommendations from family and friends can direct you toward a physician for your needs.
Surgeons can literally hold your life in their hands, and it's important to find the best one that can put you at ease and treat you effectively
You need to feel comfortable with your surgeon. It's important to communicate your concerns and that your surgeon can respond adequately. Surgeons should be willing to go over the details of your procedure and answer any questions that you may have. They must take the time to discuss and address your worries.
If you're going in for surgery, you want someone that knows what they're doing and has a high success rate. Ask how often the surgeon performs this surgery and try to find one that regularly does it. This will give you peace of mind that you're in capable hands.
Your decision on a physician or surgeon can be majorly affected by the insurance plan you have. You may have insurance through employment, your spouse, your parents if you're under 26, or the marketplace if the previous options don't apply to you. It's important to understand how your insurance works to have the full picture of what you'll need to pay for.
Your insurance will have a deductible, which is the amount that you're responsible to pay for covered medical expenses. Some plans have coinsurances, where you must pay a certain percentage of the bill, and insurance will cover the rest. Co-pays state a flat rate for certain services, like paying $20 when you visit your GP or a $100 co-pay for an emergency room visit. Once you reach your out-of-pocket maximum, which will differ if you're an individual or within a family plan, your insurance may pay for 100 percent of covered medical expenses for the rest of the plan year.
If you plan to go to the doctor, need medication or have been recommended for surgery, call your insurance provider or go online to see what your plan covers. You can choose the best doctor for your needs, understand your options and prevent yourself from being blindsided by medical expenses.
Most doctors require a phone call for an appointment, although some may provide online scheduling as well. Be sure to have your insurance card with you when you set an appointment, and to bring it with you to the actual appointment. They need the ID numbers to verify your coverage, and will usually make a copy of the card for their files so you don't have to show it again unless your insurance changes.
When you call, let them know if you're a new patient, as this will require you to complete some paperwork for your first visit. Tell them the reason for your visit, such as your symptoms if you're feeling sick. It's also important to inform them if you have Medicaid and to find out if you need to bring anything to the visit, like current medications or medical records.
From here, the receptionist will likely ask what dates and times work best for you. During your call, it's important to be honest about your symptoms and the reason for your visit. This information will help the doctor treat you and give him or her an idea of what to expect. Your appointment may progress faster as a result, and the doctor can come prepared with a list of options to better care for you.
Doctors see a number of patients in a day, sometimes in 15-minute increments in areas where the physicians are in high demand. This can leave little time for doctors to perform thorough examinations, and they can end up missing certain problem indicators. While some problems, like a cold or flu, can be diagnosed in this time, more complex ailments require attention, which takes up time. Reviews can illuminate which doctors actively spend the necessary time with their patients and which ones are pressed against the clock to meet demand.
Surgery has some more dire risks attached to it, so be sure to talk to your surgeon about the potential issues that can come up as a result of your procedure. If a patient has a reaction to anesthesia, it can cause very serious complications, but this is an uncommon occurrence. Blood clots can be a significant problem after surgery, often caused by inactivity during recovery. Infections, numbness, scarring, swelling and death are all possible, but the likelihood of these issues will vary depending on the type of surgery you're undergoing. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and your risk potential.
Surgery affects people in different ways, but as you begin to emerge from anesthesia, you'll want to alert your nurse to any issues you may have. The nurse will tell you how the procedure went, what effect it will have on your condition, what to expect when you get home and how long it will take to get back to normal. If you start feeling pain, the nurse may give you medication to stop it from getting worse. When possible, it's also advised to move around to avoid blood clots from developing in your legs. This can be as simple as occasionally flexing your knee or rotating your foot.
Some surgeries are outpatient procedures, where people are released the same day. For major surgeries, patients may stay at the hospital for a few days to be monitored and address any concerns before being sent home. Discuss with your surgeon the projected length of the hospital stay and what you need to bring.
Your recovery time and follow-up expectations will vary depending on your procedure. For example, you can be expected to be on your feet within a few days of having your wisdom teeth taken out, but it may be weeks before you have fully recovered from a broken foot or heart-valve surgery. Your surgeon will give you a list of things that you'll need to do during this time, including what medications to take and when you'll be able to get back to work and other activities.
Every surgery will have a follow-up call or appointment to discuss your recovery and allow you to ask any questions about unusual symptoms or changes in your overall health. If you have a major operation, like heart surgery, it's important to make regular checkups with your doctor or a specialist to ensure that everything is normal. Visiting a doctor will help deter infection and verify that everything is healing as expected. These appointments will give you peace of mind about your state of health and ensure that any issues are caught early on.