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Friday, July 29, 2016

News from The Villages Health

Today I wanted to let you know what's happening if you do not change to a Medicare Advantage Plan at the Villages. 

Living in the Villages has great advantages. You have doctors near you that can provide services very close to home. But you have to change your insurance options to be able to see these doctors. As health care keeps getting more and more like a business, we are losing the freedom to choose which doctors we would like to see. 
• Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans—In most HMOs, you can only go to doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals in the plan’s network, except in an urgent or emergency situation. You may also need to get a referral from your primary care doctor for tests or to see other doctors or specialists that are part of that plan. 

So if you want to keep the freedom of choosing any doctors without a referral and keep your Medicare plan with a secondary and you need a podiatrist, call our office at 352-435-7849. For more information you can visit us at drzpodiatry.com

Villages Health kicking out patients who don’t sign up for their insurance

The Villages Health will no longer accept new or existing patients who have Original Medicare with supplemental insurance starting Jan. 1.
That means patients with Medicare supplemental plans, also known as Medigap policies, will have to find new doctors or switch to The Villages Medicare Advantage plans through United Healthcare.
“Because our superior care best aligns with Medicare Advantage, we have decided to no longer accept Original Medicare with a traditional Medicare Supplemental policy for all new and existing patients,” stated a July 12 letter to patients from the health system’s chief executive officer Tom Menichino and chief medical officer Dr. Jeffrey Lowenkron. “If you decide this is not the right choice for you, we will provide your care through Dec. 31, 2016, while you search for a new physician.”
The health system apparently will continue to accept commercial insurance plans and Tricare for Life, which covers many retired military veterans.
Patients can change their coverage during the annual fall enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
Patients with Medicare supplemental policies pay monthly premiums, but their care is at low or no cost. They also are not required to stay within a provider network. Medicare pays 80 percent of approved rates and supplemental polices cover the rest.
United Healthcare offers two Medicare Advantage plans for The Villages Health. Medicare Advantage patients receive care from a network of providers and pay no or low monthly premiums.
To the health system, however, treating patients with The Villages United Healthcare Medicare Advantage plans generates more revenue than treating those with Original Medicare and supplemental policies. That’s because the health system is paid by the number of Medicare Advantage patients they serve whether they see a doctor or not. Original Medicare pays the health system on a fee-for-service basis, often below the cost of providing those services.
For its primary care, The Villages Health is ranked in the top 1 percent of health systems nationally and the top physician group in north central Florida based on HEDIS, a quality rating system. Doctors have smaller caseloads than those at other clinics and spend more time with patients.
“We are committed more than ever to keep our innovative model and maintain the level of excellence we’ve established,” the letter stated.
But The Villages Health apparently has a limited number of specialists and specialty hospitals and clinics in the network, which has caused complaints of delays.
The health system also has been losing money and the Developer reportedly has kicked in a substantial amount to help balance the books.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It's summertime.... Don't let cracked heels crack you up, let Zimmermann Podiatry fix you up!

It's summertime and for many people that means it's flip-flop season.

I'm not here to tell you not to wear flip-flops. Most people move to Florida so they can finally wear flip-flops and not get frostibite. It just so happens that when flip-flop weather comes around, so does the increase in my patients that complain of cracked heels. And yes, the flip-flops are most usually to blame. Some people can wear flip-flops and never get cracked skin and some people have cracked skin no matter what they do.

The main thing to help reduce the cracking is to increase the hydration. A cracked riverbed is only cracked when it is dry, right? Throw a little water on it and it goes back to normal. When a person wears flip-flops the skin around the heel dries out and gets thick and cracks. Hydrating the skin around the heel is best done with a heavy duty cream. Lotions will simply not do much for a severe case of dry, cracked heels. Some people even use lard, also known as cooking fat, which does seem to help quite a bit because it is so thick. Some over the counter products such as Eucerin cream seem to be good as well.

Here at Zimmermann Podiatry we carry a specialized cream that actually eats away at the thick dry skin with special enzymes. The product is called Kera-42 and has proven for us to be the most reliable form of topical medication available. We also have special instruments that are used to painlessly remove some of those extra-thick pieces of skin.

Stay hydrated, try to spend more time in shoes and socks, use some great creams, and come in to see the friendly staff at Zimmermann Podiatry in our Leesburg office to see if we can fix up your feet!

Have a great day,

Zimmermann Podiatry
923 W. Dixie Ave, Suite B
Leesburg, FL 34748
Phone: 352 435 7849