According to a new study, when it comes to elective surgery, where you live matters.
“It’s interesting that the researchers found there was a wide regional variation in whether patients with similar conditions received elective procedures,” noted Alan Weinstock an insurance broker at MedicareSupplementPlans.com.
Purpose behind Report
The purpose of the report was to highlight the variation from community to community for elective procedures which included surgeries such as back surgery, knee and hip joint replacement, prostate cancer screening, gall bladder removal and coronary artery bypass surgery.
The hope was that patients, families and clinicians would better understand the importance and cause of these variations and to encourage patients and their families to make sure they are fully informed. Researchers felt that, “All too often, patients facing the possibility of elective surgery are not given an opportunity to understand their options fully.” In addition, patients’ preferences are not always taken into account when medical decisions are made.
On a national level, researchers found differences as well. Medicare patients with heart disease in Elyria, Ohio, were 10 times more likely to have a procedure such as angioplasty or stents than those in Honolulu. And women over 65 living in Victoria, Texas were seven times more likely to undergo mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer than women in Muncie, Ind.
Questions to Ask Prior to Undergoing Surgery
Before you make the decision to have any type of surgery, you should get all the facts. New medical technologies and methods of treatment are being discovered all the time. There are many conditions that can be treated equally well without surgery. Make sure to learn the choices available to you and to have your own preferences considered before undergoing any elective surgery.
Before you agree to any elective surgery, ask these questions:
1. What is the matter with me?
2. Have all tests been performed to confirm diagnosis?
3. What surgery is recommended?
4. Are there alternative, non-surgical treatments available?
5. What are the risks and benefits of surgery vs. another treatment?
6. How long is the recovery period?
7. What is the cost?
8. What will happen if I don’t have the surgery?
Medicare does not cover surgery they deem not medically necessary and they do not cover the associated follow up care. Medicare will also not cover any prescriptions, therapy, or additional treatments that are necessary as a result of the elective surgery.
They do, however, cover cataract surgery. Often considered elective, it is covered by Medicare. You will also be able to receive one pair of eyeglasses. Otherwise, eyeglasses are not covered by Medicare.
Medigap insurance can give what the original Medicare Supplement cannot and this is a very effective advantage of the Medigap insurance California.
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