As has happened to me on an annual basis for the past 20 years or so, Kaiser Permanente (KP) cancelled my health insurance coverage on December 31. I call it cancelled, insurance companies call. the new iteration new and improved.
I’ve always had the choice to either re-up with the same policy and pay more or get a lesser policy to keep the premium about the same.
I’m sticking with KP – brand loyalty.
Over the past year, I’ve been melding old world medicine in the forms of acupuncture at the Southwest Acupuncture College Clinic for my lung problems, neti pot flushing to rinse out my sinuses, gin soaked raisins for joint pain; with modern medicine through KP.
The reason I’ve stayed with KP over the years is the HMO is one-stop shopping. I’ve had the same primary care doctor for many years and access to others in his group over at the Baseline office.
The main downside is the hospital and emergency services are located 15 miles away at the Good Samaritan Hospital. That was a big hassle when I was laid up early in 2014.
Anyway, there was a NPR radio segment on “Science Friday” yesterday about how smartphone apps are changing how health care is accessed.
That’s been very handy for me.
I use the KP app on the phone which is the same user inner face as the computer. I can access my health records, write to my docs. On the computer I can make and cancel appointments.
The best part is being able to communicate by email with my doctors. Over the past year, I’ve developed a long list of them from the main doctor, to surgeons to rheumatologists, to pulmonologists. They’re all pretty good at writing back and that saves on co-pays and trips to their offices.
It’s amazing what they can tell from blood tests.
In addition to keeping track with the app, I’ve been able to combine old world and new world medicine together successfully. I downloaded my health record and put it in my acupuncture health file. That’s been useful since the herbalists there are able to see how my regular doctors have been treating me and can suggest acupuncture and herbal alternatives. KP offers acupuncture, but its clinic is pretty far to the east of me so I haven’t tried it.
The Southwest Acupuncture College Clinic is a lot like an HMO. Based on a patient’s needs, there are a variety of practices offered from acupuncture – needles, moxabustion; body work – shiatsu, tuina, cupping; herbal medicine; pain management and combinations of those practices. I have a smartphone app about the acupuncture meridians.
I’ve heard about people who refuse to use modern medicine in favor of traditional remedies.
There’s a reason people used to die when they were 40.
There’s room for both approaches in the same treatments. My post herpetic neuralgia got better with acupuncture and electrical stimulation and blood letting. My Kaiser doc put me on prescription drug neurontin and the combo has been reducing the pain.
Lately, I’ve heard about soaking golden raisins in gin for joint pain and arthritis. I haven’t asked my medical docs about it, but will report to them if I find it effective.
I made up a batch and have been eating nine gin-infused raisins daily.
I’ll report back any changes in my stiff fingers battered up from sports abuse and autoimmunity. A couple of my friends have reported that the raisin – gin concoction was effective.
My Kaiser doc did recommend the Neil Med / Neti Pot. I bought the starter kit for a couple bucks at the pharmacy and it worked instantly for my sinus dripping / nonallergic rhinitis. I use it a couple times a day with a couple shots of the prescription flonase in the morning.
Did I mention I’ve been going class at the Little Yoga Studio two or three times a week?