Make HRAs and HSAs DPC-compatible

The IRS has an opportunity to clarify HRA and HSA use for Direct Primary Care.  Please take a moment to respond to their request for feedback.

IRS Regulations Comment Section

Sometimes a spoonful of honey is the best medicine

Here’s a study I quote all the time. Buckwheat honey has more antioxidant properties than clover or other lighter honey varieties. In this study kids receiving honey did better than the leading cough syrup and certainly better than placebo.

Sometimes hard to find and you may not want to put it on your biscuits, buckwheat honey might be something you need in your medicine cabinet. Remember, don’t give honey to infants less than one year of age.

Whole Foods Buckwheat honey

Objectives: To compare the effects of a single nocturnal dose of buckwheat honey or honey-flavored dextromethorphan (DM) with no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood upper respiratory tract infections.

Design: A survey was administered to parents on 2 consecutive days, first on the day of presentation when no medication had been given the prior evening and then the next day when honey, honey-flavored DM, or no treatment had been given prior to bedtime according to a partially double-blinded randomization scheme.

Setting: A single, outpatient, general pediatric practice.

Participants: One hundred five children aged 2 to 18 years with upper respiratory tract infections, nocturnal symptoms, and illness duration of 7 days or less.

Intervention: A single dose of buckwheat honey, honey-flavored DM, or no treatment administered 30 minutes prior to bedtime.

Main outcome measures: Cough frequency, cough severity, bothersome nature of cough, and child and parent sleep quality.

Results: Significant differences in symptom improvement were detected between treatment groups, with honey consistently scoring the best and no treatment scoring the worst. In paired comparisons, honey was significantly superior to no treatment for cough frequency and the combined score, but DM was not better than no treatment for any outcome. Comparison of honey with DM revealed no significant differences.

Conclusions: In a comparison of honey, DM, and no treatment, parents rated honey most favorably for symptomatic relief of their child’s nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty due to upper respiratory tract infection. Honey may be a preferable treatment for the cough and sleep difficulty associated with childhood upper respiratory tract infection.

— Read on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pubmed/18056558-effect-of-honey-dextromethorphan-and-no-treatment-on-nocturnal-cough-and-sleep-quality-for-coughing-children-and-their-parents/

Trump Cabinet Members Call for HSA Expansion – 401K Specialist

On Monday, government heavy-hitters from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, all called for higher HSA contribution limits and access on the part of consumers.
— Read on 401kspecialistmag.com/trump-cabinet-members-call-for-hsa-expansion/

Dr. McColl Schedule Changes for December

There are a few important schedule changes happening this month for me.

Next week I’ll be out of the office on Wednesday, December 12th.  I’ll be available by email but I don’t know how timely communication might be during the day.  I can catch up at the end of the day if need be.  So if you need something that is appropriate for email that isn’t time sensitive, then feel free to reach out to me.  The office will be closed and no one will be available for lab draws and the like.

Otherwise, we’ll be open on Thursday, December 13th to make sure everyone has time to be seen if needed that week.

Also, the week of Christmas, December 24th-28th, I’ll be out of the office for vacation time with family.  The extended absence policy will be in place so if you need medical care you can be seen by Dr. Hone as she has availability in the Maryville office or present to Trinity’s walk-in clinic.

If anyone has any needs like refills or follow ups that they are coming up the week of Christmas, please let me know ahead of time and I’ll sort them out as best I can.

-Dr. McColl

Ask Your Doctor These Four Questions About Any Treatment

Please, please, please ask questions. Our goal at Trinity DPC is to help you make good decisions not to make decisions for you. We want to provide sound advice and counsel so you can obtain the health goals important to you. We take a minimum of 30 minutes with each patient, are available by phone and email, and have no cost office visits to guarantee you have a chance to get your questions answered.

Your doctor recommends a thing, and you do it. That’s the simplest version of how the doctor-patient relationship might go, but it’s not always the best one. You may find out later that there were other options for treatment that you never knew about, or that the drug you took has risks that may outweigh its benefits. To get the full picture, ask these four questions.
— Read on vitals.lifehacker.com/ask-your-doctor-these-four-questions-about-any-treatmen-1830830788

Update on HSA use in DPC programs

Dr. Lee Gross writes a quick update on using HSA funds for DPC programs.  Still a grey zone for those who are interested.

DPCs: CONGRESS AND HSA: The Simple DPC HSA Fix Isn’t So Simple

How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, According to a Top Brain Doctor.

Good advice from Dr Perlmutter. If you want to learn how to implement this in your life, we teach it every day.

There’s no pill to defeat Alzheimer’s disease, but there’s plenty you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s, according to Dr. David Perlmutter.
— Read on www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a25350420/alzheimers-prevention-tips/

USA Today: Doctors, providers must provide patients treatment cost information

Trinity Direct Primary Care offers unparalleled price transparency.  Patients always know the cost of care received through our office.  Here are few of the highlights:

  • All office visits, phone calls, emails, and communication with the physicians and staff are always free.
  • All in house labs like strep tests, flu tests, and EKGs are free.
  • Most common labs used to manage chronic issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are free four times a year.
  • All other labs are offered at 60-90% discount.  A short list of lab prices is available at Trinity Direct Primary Care Lab Test Pricing Guide
  • Xrays are $30.
  • Advanced imaging like CT scans and MRIs are 60-90% off retail.  We verify the cash price every time we order a test to insure our patients understand the cost before having the procedure done.
  • We have multiple sources for discounts on medications including our own proprietary dispensary as well as knowledge of the best local prices, access to national discount cards, patient assistance programs, and an insurance free mail order pharmacy that offers wholesale or free medications.
  • Access to major surgery centers that don’t accept insurance and offer steep discounts off traditional pricing.

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Health care providers must acknowledge patients’ financial concerns. The path forward requires cultural changes that normalize cost conversations.
— Read on www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/03/doctors-providers-provide-patients-treatment-cost-information-health-care-column/2077749002/