Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Vietnam Veteran's Prayer

Dear God,
Thanks for allowing me to survive my tour in Vietnam.  Bless the souls of those who died in Vietnam or later as a result of their exposure to the undeclared war and its toxins.  Give us who survived the communication skills necessary to inform those who need to know of our experiences and those of our honored dead.  Allow us to distribute among our survivors' hearts and those of American citizens the pain of the losses experienced in and through the Vietnam "Conflict".

Please, God, touch those who need supernatural insights into war and peace with a sense of truth and compassion about their decisions.  Allow us to find the right balance between our love of freedom and our love for each other.  Let us all share the tension associated with decisions to go to war and distribute among our hearts the pain and emptiness associated with the aftermath of those decisions.

In the name of all we've learned by our Vietnam experience, God grant us a lasting love of peace and our fellow humans.  Allow us to honor and respect the human condition more than we wish to crush or manipulate it.

Heal our pain and confusion and allow us our peace.  Refresh our hearts with peace and love as we reconcile our Vietnam experiences with our current lives.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to effect the accomplishment of this prayer. AMEN

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day: Indy 500 and the Honored Dead

America loves Memorial Day.  The Indy 500, Danika Patrick, "Back Home Again in Indiana", Milk drinking for the Indy winner, A. J. Foyt,  Roger Penske, Jim Nabors, the pole sitter and the position 33 starter come to mind when thinking of the weekend.

The red poppy, cemeteries, flags on graves, the VA parade and memorial speaker, military uniforms, VA hospital patients in wheel chairs watching the parade also come to mind.

As a child, I remember Memorial Day cookouts while listening to the Indy 500 on the radio.  Now the race isn't on Memorial Day, but on Sunday during the federally legislated 3 day holiday weekend.  It's on TV and we can see each driver's dashboard for speed and other data.  We get lots of information and the race takes less time than in the slower years.

At 3 PM, on Memorial Day, everyone is supposed to recognize a moment of silence to honor those who died in the nation's service.

The contrast between the noise and speed of the Indy 500 and the eternal peace of the honored dead is consistent with the awesomeness of America and our many cultures and world-wide paradoxes.  We can love it, sing about it, protest it, lament it, Facebook it, Tweet it, Blog it, live for it and/or die for it but it persists as America.  It is us and we are it.  May God bless it and forgive it and bless it again and give His peace to our hearts where Memorial Day has a special meaning, even for the honored dead.  Thanks be to God for their service and sacrifice.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Direct Family Medicine: Financial Components

The last post introduced Direct Family Medicine and linked it to Direct Primary Care, including five web sites for DPC companies/ practices.  As you look at those five sites, you notice some basic information about DPC including the "who, what, why where when and how" of DPC.  What it is and how it works are good starting points eventually leading one to the "What does it cost?" question.

Cost in health care is a mysterious concept at times.  For the uninsured family in which the breadwinner(s) are unemployed as a result of the misfortunes abounding in the economy of the US and the world, they may be looking for a survival level of health care for acute needs and well  child care.  Can they just go to Urgent Care for acute illnesses and well child care?  Do they want a personal Family Physician, for continuity, security and quality (and response to phone calls at night)?  It's very personal with each person and their family as to what costs they might be willing to incur for what purpose.

If a family is in the situation mentioned in the above example, they might find reference to Direct Primary Care or Direct Family Medicine on the internet, in the phone directory or through word of mouth.  If they see the five web sites on my previous blog post, they notice, when it comes to costs, a variety of fees for the different practices.  The categories of fees come down to a common list:
Registration, Monthly or Yearly Membership Fee, and Copays all for basic Family Medicine (or Primary Care) plus extra fees for tests, procedures and other non-covered services available in the Family Physician's office.

The registration/enrollment fee for an individual  varies from $30 to $100 (Many note that they have a family discount for regiatration/enrollment, $99 is the Qliance family registration).
The monthly fee paid on the last day of the month (to avoid being an insurance company) varies from $30 to $169, some of which are level fees for all ages, up to a graduated monthly fee schedule for Qliance by age ranges.
The copay's vary from $10 to $49 (Medlion for patients with annual fee of $199)

How does a family evaluate these options?  How would you evaluate these options?
Please peruse the five sites as you consider your responses. (Health Access Rhode Island has a chart comparing regular health insurance fees to their model).  More later.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Direct Family Medicine: Let's Get it Done in Ohio

Direct Family Medicine or Direct Primary Care such as Health Access Rhode Island, Qliance, Medlion, Forrest Direct Pay, and Physician Care Direct (see links at bottom of page) and others have shown America how to "bend the cost curve" and get health care to people at the "front lines".  Ohio doesn't yet have a similar network of linked practices, but does have one or two practices in NE Ohio modeled after Health Access Rhode Island and a few individual Concierge Practices such as MDVIP in SW and Central Ohio.

The "trickling in" of these practices is a sign of innovation and concern.  What is happening to the practice of Family Medicine as it is owned by larger and larger corporations such as hospitals?  What model of practice can best serve patients while surviving financially?  How can we continue to feel the joy in Family Medicine?  Who will provide Family Medicine services for the poor and underserved? Who will provide Family Medicine services to the rich and powerful and everyone else who needs it in Ohio?

Family Physicians understand Family Medicine more than sometimes confusing terms like Primary Care which is less than our usual scope of practice.  We can do a service to our patients and the systems in which we practice if we refer to our specialty by its rightful name of Family Medicine and avoid the narrower term (managed care term) Primary Care.

It's time for more independent practices to band together to establish Direct Family Medicine Networks that are sustainable through the transformation of healthcare into the next era.  How might this happen?

Define the Dream for Direct Family Medicine in Ohio

Identify and Inspire a Burning Desire to Accomplish it

Believe We Can Do it

We know the situation and understand the need for more Family Medicine service delivery along with a different business model for sustainable Family Medicine practices.

How many independent practices care to connect to move ahead with network development?

Let's expect to communicate via social media and in person to get it done (the development work for the network and the support for individual practice transition to offer a Direct Family Medicine pathway for patients).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Your Mother's Heart Is There for You

Mother's Day.  Need I write more.  As we reflect on previous Mother's Days, what stands out?  As we think of our mothers, what comes to mind?
"Motherness" goes way beyond Mother's Day and constitutes a huge array of thoughts and feelings, sounds and smells.  Somehow, when I think of my mother, I think of she and I both younger.  (Now, we're older and somewhat gliding along.)

What is your most recent thought about your mother? (She could accept children.  She still does.  She could allow them to be.  She still does.).

Notice briefly your mother's heart for you.  Bathe in the openness and acceptance you feel.  Be thankful.  Her heart is there for you.