direct primary care
Welcome Dr. Parker to the Team!
On the eve of Dr. Parker’s first day in the clinic at Direct Medical Care I thought it only appropriate to share a little more information on her. Check out her bio:
Dr. Parker was born and raised in the Kansas City area. She is one of six children of Dr. and Mrs. C. Phillip Pattison who reside in Weston, Missouri. After spending her freshman year of high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest she moved with her family to Rolla, Missouri where she graduated from Rolla High School in 2001. She returned to Kansas City later that year to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Medicine. Upon graduation, she was chosen as the recipient of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine Award. Dr. Parker spent one year at the University of Indiana Emergency Medicine Program in Indianapolis. After a year of Emergency Medicine training she chose to return to her passion for primary care medicine. She completed a residency in Family Medicine, followed by a Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at St. Vincent Hospital. During her time in Indianapolis, Dr. Parker married her husband, Dr. Matthew Parker, and had three sons. Dr. Parker and her family returned to the Kansas City area in 2013 and they reside in Weston, Missouri. She was employed as a Family Medicine physician at the Cerner Corporation through August 2017. During her time at Cerner she was the recipient of multiple patient service excellence awards. Dr. Parker chose to pursue a new path in medicine by joining Dr. Ann Riggs, Beckie Moore, and staff in her Direct Medical Care clinic in January 2018. Dr. Parker is thrilled to be providing affordable, comprehensive, and most importantly, compassionate care for her patients.
Welcome to Dr. Parker and her family to Direct Medical Care and our community!
Ann Riggs, DO and Staff
When our model hits home–the proof is in the pudding.
I recently had the opportunity to experience the pitfalls of my own commercial health
insurance. I tell patients all the time “the proof is in the pudding.” Well it was my turn to see how this pudding really was in the health insurance world.
This past fall my daughter was hit with yet another bout of strep throat. She has fought it throughout her young life. At the age of seven I made the call to consult with one of my favorite ENT docs. It was an easy decision that she would do better if we proceeded with tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
I, like so many of my patients, have a high deductible plan that I have married with an HSA(Health Savings Account). I knew the bulk if not all of the cost of the procedure would be my responsibility. I did not hesitate to ask for cash pricing.
Insurance Negotiated Pricing vs Cash Pricing
Pricing for any surgical procedure needs to include the following fees:
- Surgeon’s Fee
- Anesthesiologist’s Fee
- Surgical Facility’s Fee
INSURANCE NEGOTIATED PRICING:
|Anesthesiologist + Facility||$2624.00|
FINAL PRICING AND SAVINGS:
I was actually able to pay the insurance negotiated pricing for the surgeon and the cash pricing for the anesthesiologist and the facility. My final pricing was $1830.34 for the entire procedure. And there lies the proof in the pudding:
Almost $1200 in Savings
Happy Healthy Kid at Great Cost Savings by Paying Cash
Ann Riggs, DO
Beckie Moore, APRN Brings “More” to DMC
Direct Medical Care Introduces Beckie Moore, APRN
Beckie Moore, APRN was born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in Platte County, Missouri. After 12 years in Platte City, Missouri, she and her family settled just north of Dearborn, Missouri, where she enjoys her time away from patient care on her farm. Beckie graduated valedictorian from North Platte High School in 1983. She has been an RN since 1987. Beckie went on to earn her Master’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1999. As a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Northland for over a decade, Beckie noticed patients interested in and seeking alternative options that were not taught in her traditional western medicine education. Seeking answers and education for herself, she discovered that the University of Arizona offered a two year medical fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Beckie completed her fellowship in 2016. She hopes to compliment patient care with her new knowledge base. Her passion is treating root causes of illnesses and promoting wellness at every turn.
The Calorie Creep
But Doctor I am not eating that much…
While there are always exceptions rarely does one become overweight by not eating.
The balancing act of creating a calorie deficit is key for weight loss. Please see my prior blog post regarding the fundamentals of weight loss:
Calories Consumed < Calories Expended= Weight Loss
It can be one misstep in your day that will sabotage all your good efforts. Stealing the term introduced to me by an inspiring patient, I would like to bring “the calorie creep” to life in the pictures below:
Keep in mind it does not have to be junk food that can be your calorie creep–avoid the creep in whatever form!
Ann Riggs, DO
Richer in More Ways than One…
No better time to discuss smoking cessation than when we are at the new year and resolutions are starting to fade while the freezing temperatures outside continue. I tell my patients that are contemplating smoking cessation that if successful they will be richer in more ways than one. The health benefits of smoking cessation are clear. The often overlooked benefits of smoking cessation are the return of significant time and money.
- decrease in bronchitis, COPD
- decrease in blood pressure
- decrease in heart rate
- decrease in ALL cancers
- decrease in diabetes
- decrease in osteoporosis
- decrease in rheumatoid arthritis
- decrease in erectile dysfunction for men
- decrease in ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, small birth weight in pregnancy
- decrease in second hand smoke decreases sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and asthma
We never seem to have enough of either time or money and smoking cessation recaptures both.
The actual cost savings can be calculated here. The following depicts the savings realized when smoking 1 pack per day with a cost of $5.70 per pack:The amount of time spent smoking is estimated at 6 minutes and 20 seconds per cigarette. Calculations for smoking 1 pack per day equates to over 2 hours per day.
If you extrapolate the value of your time then your costs rise exponentially.
Smoking Cessation Aids
So you are ready but want some help. There are over-the-counter, prescription, and alternative options to help you be more successful.
- Nicotine patches
- Nicotine gum
- Nicotine lozenges
- Nicotine inhalers
- Nicotine nasal sprays
- Bupropion is a common anti-depressant medication that was once marketed as Zyban. This medication can diminish the cravings and withdrawal symptoms from the nicotine.
- Chantix is for smoking cessation only and can diminish the cravings and withdrawal while also blocking nicotine effects from smoking.
- E-cigarettes–long term safety has been unclear but recent studies identify significant concerns on safety and effectiveness
- Support groups
No better time than the present to kick the habit as you will be richer in more ways than one!
Ann Riggs, DO
To Flu or Not to Flu
“I have the flu…”
Influenza strikes every year and leaves much to be discussed. The flu statistics reveal that the highest risk groups are those 65+ years of age followed by those 0-4 years of age. The other high risk groups include pregnant women and those with chronic respiratory illness or those with weakened immune systems.
Seasonal influenza is typically the following with rapid onset:
- profound fatigue
- joint pain
- runny nose
- sore throat
Seasonal influenza is not typically:
The only absolute is a positive influenza swab. Unfortunately the test can be inaccurate. Some studies suggest the influenza swab is only 30% accurate while others suggest 70% accuracy. The best case scenario it misses 3 out of 10 individuals with influenza. This makes clinical suspicion and evaluation by your physician key in diagnosis.
Tamiflu or other antivirals are the only prescription form of treatment but have their limitations. They need to be started within 48-72 hours of onset of symptoms. Antivirals when started early in the course of the illness can decrease the severity of symptoms and length of course but are not a cure. Large families or those with high risk individuals may opt to take antivirals as preventive or prophylactic care when a known influenza carrier has been diagnosed.
Supportive care is the true mainstay of care for anyone with influenza:
There are always lots of opinions regarding vaccination. While it is not a perfect vaccine as far as guaranteed coverage for influenza, it is safe.
The CDC recommends annual vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older.
Vaccination is one way to protect yourself from influenza and can reduce the severity of illness if contracted and prevent hospitalizations in addition to doctor visits and time off work.
- Does the flu shot cause the flu?
No but can cause a flu-like response with mild headache, joint pains, and fever
- How long until I am covered after receiving the vaccination?
Common Sense Prevails
- avoid contact with those with symptoms
- wash your hands
- eat healthy
Ann Riggs, DO
As the Sun Sets…Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D Deficiency
I often joke with patients that we never checked Vitamin D levels until Dr. Oz brought it to the forefront. Thankfully he did and we are identifying more and more individuals with vitamin d deficiency and treating appropriately.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 32 percent of children and adults throughout the US are vitamin D deficient. Estimates of over 95 percent of elderly are deficient.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms
- Bone pain
- Muscle pain
- Memory issues
- Cardiovascular Disease
Vitamin D AKA the Sunshine Vitamin
How much sun is enough? You need your skin exposed without sunscreen or protective clothing interfering to be able to convert/produce Vitamin D. There is an interesting calculator here to shed some “light” on it: Sun Exposure Calculator. Keep in mind there really are so many factors(skin color, time of year, cloud cover, time of day, etc.) and to depend on the sun for your vitamin D is not ideal.
Vitamin D in our Diets
- Egg yolks
- Fortified dairy
- Fortified grains
Risk Factors for Vitamin D Deficiency
- Diets limited in the above food sources
- Limited sun exposure due to occupation, climate, or darker pigmented skin
- GI issues that impact absorption
Vitamin D Supplementation
First and foremost check your levels before supplementing above the daily recommended allowances. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and too much can lead to toxicity issues. Basic guideline for baseline supplementation is 800-1000 International Units daily. Multi-vitamins often fall short of the baseline supplementation. Verify how much you are truly getting. If you are found to be deficient supplementation would be much higher.
Ann Riggs, DO
Tired, Foggy, and Numb?
Vitamin B12 deficiency May be Making you tired, foggy, and numb…
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I hear from my patients that unfortunately can be caused by many things. Vitamin B12 is one of those causes and it is quite common. Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in energy as it aides the conversion of our foods to energy for the body.
Patients often complain of difficulties focusing, forgetfulness, and just a general fuzziness. Vitamin B12 helps in cognition with overall brain health. Deficiencies can also lead to general mood disorders, depression, and insomnia due to its role in production of certain natural brain chemicals.
The classic presentation of B12 deficiency is a “stocking-glove distribution” of numbness. The hands and feet are described as numb or tingling. Vitamin B12 is utilized by the body in the maintenance and repair of the nervous system.
- pale skin
- tongue changes–smooth, burning, or red
- heart palpitations
- shortness of breath
- diarrhea or constipation
- vision difficulties
Am I deficient?
If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms it is worth getting a simple blood test to evaluate your levels.
- medications that decrease absorption–classically antacid medications
- disease processes that affect absorption such as pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis
- gastric surgery for weight loss
Vitamin B12 Dietary Sources
The human body doesn’t make vitamin B12 so dietary sources are essential. Common dietary sources:
Vitamin B12 Supplement Options
Vitamin B12 supplements come in pill form, sublingual tablets, nasal sprays, and injectables. Many people can’t absorb vitamin B12 through the gut so nasal absorption, oral absorption, or injections are often preferred.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is easily detected and easily treated if you look for it…
Ann Riggs, DO
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is a novel, non-invasive approach to treating inflammation and promoting healing.
It is FDA approved and has been utilized in America for over 16 years.
Contrary to its name it is not cold at all–it is a pulsatile, low-level laser that will not burn.
Cold laser therapy has also been referred to as:
- low-power laser
- low-light therapy
- soft laser
- biostimulation laser
- therapeutic laser
- laser acupuncture
We introduced cold laser therapy in our office over 6 months ago. We have been impressed with its results for back pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, heel pain AKA plantar fasciitis, and much more.
The cold laser is thought to work by decreasing inflammation and thus pain by decreasing the following:
- prostaglandin E2
- prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2
- interleukin 1-beta
- tumor necrosis factor-alpha
- neutrophil granulocytes
- oxidative stress
The greatest advantage is that there are NO serious side effects. It is a great option to try to avoid medications and surgery.
While insurance is variable on recognizing cold laser therapy as a reimbursable treatment, we are pleased to announce we have had patients receive reimbursement for this service at Direct Medical Care.
In as little as 2-4 treatments per week, we have seen 80-90% improvement in symptoms.
If no improvement by the 4th treatment alternate treatments can be utilized. Combining therapies can maximize healing and return to health.
Ann Riggs, DO