File Under: "What's Up with That?"

Thoughts and musings on the day-to-day reality of practicing medicine.

Last week I got a request for medical records from some national company whose business it is to secure them for insurance companies. We don’t typically fax medical records as it takes time if there are a lot of pages to send, and many times faxes wind up in fax heaven rather than where they’re supposed to be. I laughed when I saw a line on the request, “Go Green! Save a tree, save a call. FAX your patients records back today!!” Well, it’s either my tree or their tree as far as I can tell.

There was an ad on TV this weekend for a steroid inhaler that got my attention. Feel free to ask your doctor if it’s for you, but be aware, it can cause headaches, nosebleeds, and sore throats. No one asked me for it so far.

I got my Verizon statement today for my Internet, phone, and cable. I pay with auto-pay every month so why do they always include a return envelope? Maybe my bill could drop a bit if they didn’t.

And my favorite “What’s up with that?” -- A patient of mine had breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. The plastic surgeon did an admirable job and the insurance company covered expenses adequately. But now the patient would like to have her replacement nipple (not the original) pigmented to match the other. The insurance company won’t cover that expense. Going through medical channels it could cost as much as $2,500. A tattoo parlor can do it for about $30.