Healthcare Articles

Virtual doctor visits: A new kind of house call

Videoconferencing applications that download to a smartphone, tablet, or home computer enable people to experience a virtual visit with a physician at any time, day or night. The visits are convenient and affordable, costing about $40 or $50 per visit, which is about half the cost of an in-person visit. Many insurance companies now cover the costs. But virtual visits aren’t meant to replace every trip to the doctor’s office. They’re considered effective for conditions such as cold and flu. For older adults, it may be best to see a doctor in person. (Locked) More »

Is it always important to get a second medical opinion?

Men should always seek out a second medical opinion anytime they are given a diagnosis of serious illness or a recommendation for surgery. Also, when seeking a second opinion, it is best to visit a different medical center to get a truly independent diagnosis, and to bring along a family member or friend to accurately record the new information. (Locked) More »

The cost of generic and name-brand drugs

There are many generic versions of brand-name drugs available that sell for, on average, just 15% to 20% of the brand-name price. Research has shown these drugs are just as effective as their name-brand counterparts, but patients need to make sure to ask their doctor for generic choices, as it is not guaranteed he or she will suggest alternatives or even be aware of them.  (Locked) More »

Where to go when you get sick

Do you know where to go when you get sick? If you can't see your own doctor, you might go to a retail clinic, urgent care, or the ER, depending on the situation. Dr. Terry Schraeder explains the difference and where to best seek the help you need. More »

Do financial incentives improve health?

Most large employers now offer financial incentives to employees who make healthy lifestyle changes. There is some evidence that incentives work better when offered to groups of people all challenged to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, rather than on an individual basis. (Locked) More »

Making decisions about your future medical care

Legal documentation that protects a person’s future medical treatment choices is generally known as an advance directive. That umbrella term covers several documents. A living will spells out treatment preferences if a person is unable to make treatment decisions. A health care proxy form names the person who’ll make health care decisions if a person lacks the capacity to make them. A POLST (physician orders for life-sustaining treatment) turns a person’s health care preferences into a medical order that must be followed by doctors, hospital staffers, and paramedics immediately, not after legal interpretation.    (Locked) More »

Do you need a cardiologist?

For people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a primary care provider can usually effectively manage those conditions. But some people may need more focused care from a general cardiologist, or one with more specialized expertise. (Locked) More »