Monday, May 11, 2009

Flap's Dentistry Blog Links May 11, 2009


Women who have used home pregnancy tests may be familiar with HCG, the substance that got Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez banned from baseball for 50 games. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced during pregnancy and is what pregnancy test strips detect if they determine a woman is expecting, as this patient-information sheet from JAMA explains. HCG appears in a woman’s blood or urine as early as 10 days after conception, the NIH says. The body also secretes HCG during certain kinds of cancers.

While the impetus behind e-cigarette (electronic cigarette) use stems from a desire to help people stop smoking, while respecting smoking bans, it seems that e cigarette controversy lights up because electronic cigarettes are not approved by any governing body – specifically the FDA. The result is that electronic cigarette import has been banned, and the makers are in China. Currently, the FDA has no control over cigarettes. The maker of e-cigarettes claims inhaling nicotine vapor minus the tobacco is a sincere effort to provide an alternative to smoking. Electronic cigarettes may be poisonous, another part of the controversy

A Muslim dentist refused to treat patients unless they wore traditional Islamic dress, it was alleged today. Omer Butt, 32, ordered women to put on head scarves or he would not register them or their families at his NHS-funded clinic, it was claimed. At least two patients were left in pain after they declined to follow his self-imposed rules, the General Dental Council heard. It is the second time that the dentist - who is the brother of a former spokesman of the radical Islamic group al-Muhajiroun - has appeared before the council's disciplinary panel on similar allegations. Two years ago he was reprimanded for telling an Asian mother-of-two he would not register her unless she wore the Muslim hijab.

The savvy consumer knows that everything is negotiable. Well, perhaps not taxes, but everything else. Medical bills are no exception, whether they are from a doctor’s office, hospital, clinic, dentist, or other provider. Medical providers run their business in a way that assumes discounting and negotiation will be commonplace, although the discounts are typically given to insurers instead of patients. They often receive a fraction of the total charges – anywhere from 50% to 80% is common – from the large insurers, and much less from the government payers. As with any other negotiation, if you seek a win-win in good faith, there is a high likelihood that you will be able to find a discount on your healthcare bill. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do.

1 comment:

  1. I got the brand and I haven't smoked a traditional cig since. Well... I had about 8 the first week...

    Teeth are staying white now since i kicked the traditional coffin nails :-)