It’s Freezing in our County: Medicare Reimbursement in 2012

by David J. Elpern and Mariah L. Ferrara Abstract: We have documented the access to dermatology care in the Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Of the six dermatologists practicing in the area only two accept Medicaid patients and for one of these, the wait for an appointment was over six months. Our data show unequal access to dermatologic care in Western Massachusetts Keywords:  dermatology, access to care, Medicaid, dermatologist, medical insurance. Berkshires, Massachusetts, cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen Introduction: It is clear to Medicaid recipients nationwide that they have difficulty in obtaining health care from large numbers of private practitioners There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is that physicians are … Continue reading

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Skin Wars

by Mr. B. In 2014, I won an insidious lottery: contracting Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris (PRP), a rare skin disease that one in 400,000 people get. After accepting this horrific verdict, I discovered I had a major choice. Do I take high-risk drugs in hope for a cure, after assuming a drug had initially caused my PRP? During the challenge of being alone in my struggle, I fortuitously discovered a special dermatologist. Dr. K respected my concerns about a conventional physician-patient relationship, and he followed my lead in selecting my treatment. The communication and trust we developed led to a slow, minimal treatment that after one year resulted in remission without … Continue reading

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The Dao of the Red Man

by Dr. K. In September of 2014, I saw Mr. B., a 68 years old man, with a wide-spread dermatitis that turned out to be pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP).  He was miserable with generalized red skin, scaling and painfully thickened palms and soles.  My essay, “The Dao of the Red Man” describes our long and complicated therapeutic journey.  Mr. B. relates his personal PRP struggle  in “Skin Wars.”  The interested reader will learn much from reading and comparing  both Mr. B. and my narratives.  They speak to PRP, the physician-patient dyad, and shared-decision making. The Dao of the Red Man Skin Wars – Mr. B Also see: Skin Wars by … Continue reading

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Music as Complement to Surgery

Dermatologists perform office surgery almost daily. Our awareness of the growing interest in, and literature on, music as an adjunct in the perioperative period led us to survey the use of music during 100 consecutive office procedures in a dermatology practice.  We found that the effects of music were salutary for patients and the investigators.  Music is a simple, inexpensive, safe and effective adjunct to office surgery. We hope that this report will be of help to physicians who wish to provide music to ease patients during office procedures. For full paper:  Music and Surgery Appendix: Music Study Appendix Keywords: music, medicine, surgery, perioperative, playlists, dermatologist, dermatology

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