By Nurse Mark
This week I’m going to address a couple of customer / patient comments, and some thoughts that those comments bring to mind.
While these may be somewhat different issues, they are also related – so bear with me.
First there was a nasty-gram that accompanied an "unsubscribe" order from last week’s HealthBeat News report on citicoline.
The writer, from Australia no less, bashed us as being "ugly Americans" for insulting her by discussing in depth a supplement that we also happen to sell. This is not the first time we’ve been taken to task for writing about something that we also sell – I guess the thought that we might make a nickel of profit from by selling a health-giving substance just really upsets some people.
She then went on to tell us that we had offended her by writing too extensively about citicoline – that we had "talked down" to her somehow by discussing it’s uses and benefits in a lengthy, fully-referenced article. She told us that if we couldn’t "sell" her on something within the first paragraph, then anything more than that simply insulted her.
Now I know that recent research has shown that the average attention span of an American has now reached an astounding low of 8 seconds – fully one second less than a goldfish – but really, I believed better of our Healthbeat News readers which is why we offer you in-depth, fully researched articles and not just flashy sales "puff-pieces."
Next there were some questions from someone who is considering taking one of the infrequently available spots in Dr. Myatt’s concierge medical practice. As most of our readers know, Dr. Myatt has for a number of years been limiting her practice to around a dozen or so patients at any given time. Most of her private practice patients stay under her intensive care for 6 months to a year or even longer, but when they achieve their health goals and "graduate" to less intensive needs Dr. Myatt can offer an opportunity to work with her to someone new. This is a big, life-changing commitment for most people and it is not unusual for folks to have questions.
Here are a few of these recent questions, and my answers to them:
Question: what are your payment plans?
Many of Dr. Myatt’s patients prefer to make a single payment. Having said that, others may pay quarterly, or monthly, or in some other arrangement.
Question: Are you able to prescribe medication through a traditional pharmacy?
Yes, Dr. Myatt is an NMD – a Naturopathic Medical Doctor – and has all the privileges of any other Medical Doctor. That is, she has a DEA number and can prescribe allopathic patent medicines including scheduled (narcotic) drugs if necessary, she can order lab tests and other diagnostic procedures, and even commit surgery. She is in a better position because of her expanded knowledge, skill, and experience to prescribe thyroid and hormone (especially natural thyroid and bio-identical hormone) therapy than most “conventional” or allopathic doctors. (This patient was especially interested in Dr. Myatt’s thyroid and hormone programs.)
Question: how long have you been doing concierge medicine?
Dr. Myatt began sharply limiting her practice about a decade ago and found that it allowed her to provide much better care and obtain better patient outcomes, so she has continued to do so and has found that around a dozen intensive patients at any one time is a perfect number.
Question: And is any of this billable to insurance?
Every insurance plan allows for different services to be billed. Many plans allow “discretionary” spending by the insured for non-allopathic medical expenses as do most “Medical Savings Plans.” You would need to enquire of your insurance plan for answers to these questions.
We do not participate in any insurance plans as we have found that 1.) most insurance plans are interested in covering allopathic medical treatment only, and , 2.) the amount of time and bureaucratic paperwork involved in satisfying insurance billing requirements requires a doctor to rely on a production line – like practice model that does not encourage the kind of intensive and individualized care that Dr. Myatt wishes to provide.
Dr. Myatt recognizes that medical care is expensive and she will insist that you also maintain a relationship with an allopathic “insurance doctor” so that if / when Dr. Myatt recommends something that can be covered by your insurance plan (diagnostics, tests, prescriptions, etc.) your “insurance doc” can be called upon to order these things for you.
Question: Are the supplements you suggest purchase through your wellness club or are they something I get on my own?
We have a broad range of supplements available through The Wellness Club.
Dr. Myatt began the supplement side of The Wellness Club many years ago when she found that often her patients were not getting the results she wanted from her recommendations. It became apparent that many were using sub-standard supplements in terms of potency and purity and because of this the suggested supplements were not effective.
She began supplying carefully selected supplements to address this problem and immediately noted improved patient outcomes.
She formulates many of her own supplements, and all of the items she offers are subject to an extremely rigorous Quality Control audit. She is known amongst suppliers and manufacturers (behind her back, they believe) as “The Dragon Lady” because of her unwillingness to compromise on quality.
As always, Dr. Myatt’s patients (and you, our HealthBeat readers) are welcome to obtain supplements anywhere. We offer a variety of supplements that we have vetted for quality and purity, but we also recognize that you might find something similar at Billy-Bob’s Big Box Bargain Basement And Warehouse Outlet at a lower cost. But please be careful – Did Billy-Bob do an extensive Quality Control Audit on those vitamins like Dr. Myatt, or did he get a really great deal on cargo salvaged from the truck that overturned on the interstate last year and sat in a hot warehouse waiting to be released by the insurance company?
Don’t laugh, it happens!
We have written about quality in the supplement industry before: Wasting Money to Save Money? Who’s Watching Your Back?
We reference the importance of quality often in our articles because it is so important to your health and your pocketbook both. Here is what Dr. Myatt had to say in a recent article "7 mistakes people make when taking supplements"
"I’ve said this so many times that I feel like a broken record, but still a lot of folks just don’t get it. So I’ll keep saying it.
The nutritional supplement industry is the Wild West for quality. Although things are improving, it is still a jungle out there. More expensive isn’t always better but also be careful of products that are "bargain basement." Our saying at The Wellness Club is "the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn’t work." If you paid $1.99 for two months’ worth of pixie dust, and it doesn’t do anything for you, then you haven’t saved a bunch of money. You’ve wasted $1.99. "
So, there you have it – a purely informative HealthBeat News article. No products were offered for sale in the making of this article. Hopefully no feelings were offended.
But – stay tuned, because we are planning to offer you money for giving us a piece of your mind. Here’s the plan: Since we want to give you, our readers what you want and you know what you want better than we do, we are going to be doing a survey very soon to ask you just exactly what you want from us in HealthBeat News.
We’ll give you an opportunity to tell us what you want, what you don’t want, and how you want it. And we’re going to pay you for your time. How fair is that?
Watch for it… coming soon.
Posted in Medical (Disease) Insurance, Nutrition and Health, Opinion | No Comments »