Quick! You’ve Met Your Deductible, It’s Time to Use Your Benefits

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Posted on

Our offices are packed with folks “gettin’ things done” before the end of the year because they’ve met their deductible and, well, things are “free” now. Here are the things you can think about cramming in before 2014 starts.

1. Take a shot! Vaccinations. Make sure your Tdap, Zostavax, Pneumovax, Influenza, Hep A and B vaccines are up to date. Tdap every 10 years, Zostavax just once after the age of 60.

2. Squish. Your Mammogram. Line up and get your screening mammogram done for the year if you are due. No-brainer.

3. Remember to bring your rear before the end of the year. Colonoscopy, if you are due. Every 10 years for people (of average risk) after the age of 50. If you are due for this, get it done.

4. Bumps and rashes. Dermatology visit for an annual skin check? If you have high risk skin, a family history of skin cancer or want something checked out, get in to see dermatology. A once a year skin check with dermatology saves lives from skin cancer.

5. I want it done, kinda. An elective orthopedic surgery. Many of you cram in your hammertoe surgery, meniscus repair and frozen shoulder surgery at the end of the year. You’ve put it off, but now you’ve met your deductible so it’s free, try and get it done like the rest of the folks. Ortho surgeons are very busy this time of year.

6. Get in those stirrups. Cervical cancer screening, your pap. Done every 3 years now for most of you, if you haven’t had it yet it’s time to get it done.

7. DEXA. Your bone density scan for osteoporosis screening is a good one to cram in. How often you need this should be discussed with your doctor but if you are due, get those bones ready.

8. Say what? Have your hearing checked. I’ve been asked quite a bit for referrals to audiology in the past few weeks for folks who notice one ear not as sharp as the other or who are giving in to the peer pressure from family members complaining about their hearing, or lack of.

9. Oh my aching (—fill in the blank—). Physical therapy. For much of what ails you, physical therapists are the unsung heroes of medicine. If you need PT for back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, etc. you may be able to get a few sessions done in this calendar year, and you will start all over in 2014 with fresh new limits on PT.

10. Injections. If you get Prolia injections, Depo-Provera for contraception, etc and you are billed for a nurse visit with your injection well then, get it done before 2014.

Hurry up!

Dr O.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under