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Health Enewsletter October 2015

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Acne and your child's self-image

Controlling your stress
 
Dr. Chapman went to Washington DC, October 4th-6th, 2015; Dr. Woodbury went to Washington DC, September 27th to 29th.

Legislative Corner -
    The Patient Access to Treatment Act
    The Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights
    The awkward Tenncare audits of primary care physicians
       in Tennessee.

Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018
1-901-753-0168; Rheuderm@Comcast.net
 

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Dr. George
Woodbury and Dr. Cathy Chapman
Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova, TN 38018
 (901) 753-0168
Rheuderm@comcast.net
 

 
 
Acne and Your Child's Self-Image: 
 
One of the most rewarding treatments that we dermatologists provide is helping young adults feel better about themselves by helping to clear up their complexions. Milder cases of acne often respond to use of mild soaps such as Purpose® or Cetaphil® or to use of over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide washes, several times a week.
 If these measures alone aren’t working we then consider topical antibiotics such as Clindamycin or Erythromycin, and what are called keratolytic agents, like retinoid gels, azelaic acid gels, or topical dapsone. The next step up in therapy is to start a course of oral antitibiotic, such as minocycline or doxycycline, or oral cephalosporins.
But some cases of acne are resistant to these measures alone, and the acne can start to leave scars. We sometimes consider an oral drug called isotretinoin, also known as  Accutane®, Amnesteem ®, Claravis ®,Sotret ®, or Absorica ®. Isotretinoin is a very helpful medication but it requires labwork every 30 days while on the typical 5 months of treatment, and it must never be taken by women who could become pregnant during the 5 months of treatment, or within 30 days of the last isotretinoin pill, since birth defects would then be an issue. Isotretinoin is one of the few therapies that tends to be remissive, meaning that once one finishes the 5 months of treatment, often the acne will clear up and stay clear. It requires close monitoring and bloodwork monthly while on treatment. George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (10/02/15)((
 
Dr. George Woodbury and his daughter in the photo above - Emily Woodbury - now a senior medical student at Columbia University in New York City getting ready to go into ob/gyne - have both been on several courses of isotretinoin. We can understand how severe acne affects teenagers since we've both been there. (10/09/2015)
 

 

Controlling Your Stress in Natural Ways
 

Managing one’s stress is a key to good health. When you keep your emotional stresses and tensions under control, you can relax better at night, and sleep better, waking restored the next day. At least 7-9 hours of sleep a night boosts your resiliency, even longer sleep times if you’re a teenager. Never rely on drugs like nicotine and alcohol to manage calm down. They just add to stress on your body. Vigorous exercise at least 2-3 times a week —i.e. aerobic exercise—helps you stay healthy and also helps to keep your weight under control, naturally.

In the above photo, Rheumatology and Dermatology Medical Assistants Vicki and Shirley work out their stress by going on a 5K run/walk through Shelby Farms, in Memphis, as part of the Arthritis Foundation Walk to Cure Arthritis, June 6th, 2015.
 



Dr. Chapman traveled to Washington DC October 4th to the 6th 2015, with about 70 other rheumatologists and the American College of Rheumatology, to speak with federal legislators about healthcare issues. Dr. Woodbury traveled to Washington DC September 27th to the 29th with about 140 other dermatologists and the American Academy of Dermatology Association, likewise to help to articulate important healthcare issues, and to build channels of communication.


 
Emily Woodbury designed our practice's grassroots logo to illustrate
that people benefit most when patients and healthcare personnel work together in a team-wise approach. Everything comes together in a big circle.


 
  So what are the big healthcare issues
in Washington DC and in Nashville?

 

  The main issues we have underscored with the elected officials are the Patient Access to Treatment Act, the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights, and the need toimmediately halt the awkward Tenncare Audits that have been imposed upon every primary care physician in Tennessee who participated in Tenncare in 2013 and 2014.

  The Patient Access to Treatment Act—also called HR 1600—is a valuable measure that would require insurance companies to stick to 3 levels of coverage for prescription drugs—and prohibit the establishment of very high deductibles for injectable drugs like biologic therapies for arthritis.

  The Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights—also called HR 4998—is a valuable measure which would pertain to private companies who insure patients in the Medicare age range—called Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans. HR 4998 would improve transparency by prohibiting MA organizations from removing providers mid-year from health plans without cause. It would require MA organizations to ensure that continuity of care requirements are satisfied when a provider is terminated from a network plan, and would require MA network plans be finalized at least 60 days before Open Enrollment begins, and seek provider, patient, and MA organization input regarding network adequacy standards.

The Tenncare Audits are a process whereby Tenncare (Tennessee’s equivalent of Medicaid) verifies that primary care physicians are providing enough actual primary care services to qualify for the higher Medicare fee schedule. The problem is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington DC actually left out lab work and X-rays from their definition of primary care services, thereby causing 350 of the 900 primary care physicians that were audited in Tennessee in the year 2015 to fail the program, and to be subjected to “recoupments.” That means that CMS is forcing these physicians to pay back money that they earned in 2013 and 2014. Dr. Woodbury is working ardently with Dr. Lee Morrissey, President of the Memphis Medical Society, and Dr. Lanetta Anderson, President of the Bluff City Medical Society, to find out what can be done to stop these audits and recoupments, which will absolutely have a negative impact upon primary care services availability in Tennessee. A group of physicians is meeting with Representative Steve Cohen on Monday 10/19/2015, to discuss these issues.

 
If you would like to comment on any of these issues to your elected official:
To reach your elected officials: 1-888-434-6200:
 

TN Senators: Bob Corker+Lamar Alexander; Rep. Steve Cohen+Rep. Stephen Fincher.

Arkansas Senators: Tom Cotton+John Boozman. Rep.Rick Crawford

Mississippi Senators: Thad Cochran+Roger Wicker. Representative Kelly Trent.
Would you like to become more engaged in the
politics of your healthcare?

Dr. Woodbury is the matchmaker within the PURPLhealth Network. That means he sets up coffees, breakfasts, and lunches between both state and federal legislators and healthcare personnel, to discuss issues that have been identified by the Tennessee Medical Association, the Memphis Medical Society, and the American Academy of Dermatology Association. If you would like more information on these meetings, or to get involved, please drop me a return Email or phone call to PURPLhealth@yahoo.com, or call 901-753-0168.
 

For questions, comments, or if you would like to
be added to our email list, please email “purplhealth@yahoo.com”or call 1-901-753-0168.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (10/10/2015)