Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

* required |Privacy Policy

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IF NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY IS SO EFFECTIVE IN TREATING TENSION TYPE HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES WHY DON'T MORE PHYSICIANS REFER PATIENTS TO DENTISTS.

THE ANSWER TO THIS HAS TO DO WITH HOW PHYSICIANS ARE GENERALLY TRAINED AND THE FACT THEY ARE COMFORTABLE REFERRING TO OTHER PHYSICIANS. DENTISTS ARE USUALLY OUTSIDE THE TYPICAL REFERRAL PATTERNS FOR PHYSICIANS.

A SECOND REASON IS MANAGED CARE. PHYSICIANS ARE FREQUENTLY FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR COSTS OF REFERRALS THEY MAKE AND DO NOT WANT TO BE STUCK WITH A LARGE BILL (OR DECREASE IN PAYMENTS).

MANY YEARS AGO I WORKED WITH CHICAGO HMO AND SHOWED THEM I COULD SAVE THEM SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNTS OF MONEY IN TREATING CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS. AS A RESULT THEY GAVE ME A PREFERRED STATUS WHERE THERE WAS LITTLE OUT OF POCKET COST FOR THE PHYSICIANS WHEN REFERRING PATIENTS FOR TMJ THERAPY. DR TRUBITT WHO WAS THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF CHICAGO HMO SAID THAT THE COMPANY SAVED APPROXIMATELY $250.000 IN THE FIRST 6 PATIENTS WE TREATED (TOTAL COST ABOUT $25,000). CHICAGO HMO PAID 100% OF ALL MY TMD TREATMENT COSTS (PHASE 1) FOR SEVERAL YEARS BECAUSE THEY SAVED MONEY ON EVERY PATIENT TREATED. THE PATIENTS GAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY VERY POSITIVE FEEDBACK. CHICAGO HMO DID NOT COVER PHASE 2 TREATEMNT SO PATIENTS WERE MADE AN APPLIANCE WITH A CAST BASE. PATIENTS DESIRING ORTHODONTICS OR RECONSTRUCTION DID SO AS AN OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE.

I WAS REFERRED PATIENTS FOR MANY YEARS WITH GREAT SUCCESS UNTIL CHICAGO HMO WAS BOUGHT BY ANOTHER COMPANY. THE NEW COMPANY WAS NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING HOW THEY COULD SAVE MONEY. THEY DID WRITE CONTRACT LANGUAGE SAYING THAT TMJ DISORDERS WERE NOT COVERED.

THE EXPRESSION IS PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH. TWO STUDIES PUBLISHED IN CRANIO BY SHIMSHAK ET AL SHOWED THAT PATIENTS WITH TMJ DISORDERS USE MEDICAL CARE IN ALL FIELDS OF MEDICINE AT 200-300% INCREASES ABOVE NON-TMJD PATIENTS. THE TOTAL MEDICAL SAVINGS DWARF THE COST OF TREATMENT BUT INSURANCE COMPANIES ONLY LOOKED AT THE COSTS NOT THE FUTURE SAVINGS.

QUALITY OF LIFE IS NEVER LOOKED AT BY INSURANCE COMPANIES IN THEIR CALCULATIONS.

THE SAME PROBLEM EXISTS IN TREATMENT OF SLEEP APNEA WHERE PATIENTS ARE ROUTINELY REFERRED FOR CPAP EVEN THOUGH 60% OF PATIENTS ABANDON IT COMPLETELY. ALMOST ALL STUDIES SHOW PATIENTS PREFER ORAL APPLIANCES TO CPAP.

THIS IS ALSO TRUE IN TREATMENT OF GUM DISEASE THAT CREATES CARDIAC PROBLEMS, DIABETES PROBLEMS, INCREASES IN PULMONARY INFECTIONS, PREMATURE BIRTH AND OTHER CONDITIONS BUT MOST PHYSICIANS KNOW LITTLE TO NOTHING ABOUT ORAL HEALTH AND ITS EFFECT ON OVERALL HEALTH. MOST MEDICAL INSURANCE COMPANIES DO NOT COVER THE COST OF TREATING PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

PATIENTS IN CHICAGOLAND AREA CAN CONTACT ME ABOUT TMJ DISORDERS AT 1-800-TM-JOINT AND ABOUT ORAL APPLIANCES FOR TREATING SLEEP APNEA AT 1-8-NO-PAP-MASK.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

posted by Dr Shapira at 3:01 PM

Welcome to the iHATEheadaches website, please upgrade your Flash Plugin and enable JavaScript.