Sunday, December 31, 2017

Type 2 Nutrition #413: “End Date”

My wife recently left a post-surgical office visit with a written prescription for physical therapy (PT). She told me the doctor’s assistant said to call for another office visit when the PT was completed. So, I asked my wife how long was the course of PT that the doctor prescribed. She looked, and said, “End date: TBD by insurer.”
My first reaction was surprise, then anger at the doctor for abdicating on the decision, then anger at the insurer for taking control of medical decisions, then anger at government for letting them dictate to insurers. Making healthcare decisions that affect a patient’s recovery from surgery should always be a matter between doctor and patient, not insurers, whose principal interest is the bottom line. And not big government, where politicians and their staffs are not qualified…and besides are generally corrupted by conflicts of interest.
So, the doctor is not to blame. He or she is in business too – albeit small business, but this column on changes in Medicare demonstrates that even the giant American Medical Association was helpless to alter the course of the “reforms” to Medicare that were enacted to pay for the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Healthcare represents about 17% of the U. S.’s Gross National Product. It’s a behemoth that overpowers everything else.
So, let’s review where we are: A doctor can no longer prescribe the duration of PT, and insurers shouldn’t, and politicians who have no business doing it at all but ultimately do by the legislation their staffs write, they pass, and the indecipherable regulations government minions then produce, so, in this mess, what’s a patient to do? Answer: Take your healthcare into your own hands! Seriously, it’s your health!
My doctor offers “Concierge Care.” I suspect he’s looking for a way to get out from under all the restrictions, regulations and reporting (the 3R’s). He needs less overhead to handle the billing, and he gets paid more promptly.  It has to be more rewarding, and not just financially.
I declined his Concierge Care option because under the primary Medicare and secondary supplemental that I have from being a former NYC manager, I have very good insurance coverage. Virtually everything is covered and paid for. I even get the Medicare Part B premiums, deducted from my pension check, refunded! And my Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is subsidized by the Management Benefits Fund.  I am also in pretty good health for my age – much, much better than I was 15 years ago, when I was morbidly obese. When my current doctor took over my former doctor’s practice, he studied my chart and suggested I see him just once a year. Instead, at my insistence, I see him 3 times a year, primarily for blood work.
So, my pitch to you at New Year’s is: Take responsibility for your own health. Don’t rely on your insurer to tell you what to do or how long to do it. And don’t let the government tell you what to eat. They’ve been wrong with that advice for the last 60 years, much longer than anyone now in government and certainly longer than anyone in medical practice has been working. Remember, too, your doctor is/was not educated in nutrition, and the RDs and CDEs in practice today obtained and keep their licenses by learning all the wrong things.
If you’re overweight or pre-diabetic, ask yourself, how did you get that way? Haven’t you been trying to eat a “healthy diet” the way you’ve been told to do for most of your adult life. And haven’t you been exercising regularly? Then what caused you to gain weight or become Insulin Resistant (pre-diabetic)? If you are Insulin Resistant, you are Carbohydrate Intolerant. Does it make sense to continue to eat a “balanced” diet? To “eat everything in moderation,” the way the government and the medical establishment told you to do. Isn’t that what caused you to become Carbohydrate Intolerant? Then why would you continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Think about it. Seriously!
End of hectoring. Happy New Year, and make it a truly NEW one, for YOU.

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