Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Horizon Healthcares prescription description

January 26, 2010

Institute For Medical Wellness Healthy Living Report

Horizon Healthcares prescription description

Actually I could call this Horizon Healthcares prescription deception.

If you ever had questions as to why I refuse to contract with insurance companies, please read this letter from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. In Horizon's ever growing need for power and control of your health, they have put new requirements on prescription drugs. Requirements is probably a nice word. The correct words could be barrier, intruder, or pain-in-our-assets.

In Horizon's infinite wisdom, they will no longer approve any brand name drug, unless you have failed one or more of their preferred generics. Yes you heard it correctly! They will no longer approve for payment any Brand Name Medications unless and until you have failed generic medications.

Here is my question to you:


Sorry for shouting, but the lunacy of this issue is amazing.

Go to Walmart, Costco, Sams Club, Wegmans, or many of the local independent pharmacies. You can obtain generic medications very cheaply without a prescription plan.

Yet Horizon considers their program as "prescription benefits." Just who is it benefitting???

Next question:


Sorry again for shouting. It is probably just my ADD acting up. My mother used to say that I had ADD. But I didn't believe her. Hey Look. A Chicken!!!

Sorry bout that ; )

I'll answer that question now for you.

Prescription plans are big money makers for your insurance company as well as for the pharmacy benefit managers that run them. I'll discuss more about these bureaucratic middlemen, their exhorbitant profits, and their backroom deals to keep their earnings high, and your costs even higher at a later date.

We should call our Congressmen and have them look into this for us. But we know where that will probably get us. Big insurance and pharmacy benefit managers contributions to their political campaigns, which in the end would leave us worse off, as is most healthcare related items when the government gets involved.

My suggestion to you. If you get turned down for a prescription by your insurance plan, call them. Spend as much time as you can. Sit in a nice relaxing chair at home or work. Tell them you have all day to discuss the matter. Continually ask to speak to their supervisor, over and over and again, until maybe, just maybe they will approve your medication. If not, get everyone's name and job description along the way. Let them know that you will hold them personally and their business fully responsible for any adverse medical outcome related to their decision to withhold medication that was prescribed by your physician. They are not doctors. Yet they are changing what your doctor has prescribed. These tactics do not always work, but if enough people start a ruckus, momentum will shift and the proper change can be instituted.

As an aside, there are actually more middlemen starting businesses due to this insurance precert mess. Visit www.mdinsuranceauth.com . They sent me a fax last week. Their business was set up to help doctors "eliminate your time consuming and costly process of obtaining authorizations for your patients."

Only in America. A new business focused on the insurance-government third party debacle!!

I am sorry. Healthcare does not need to be this complicated.

Here is my idea of the ideal healthcare system.

Doctor --------> Patient

You know what? The above ideal healthcare system looks alot like The Institute For Medical Wellness.

Look Again. No middlemen!!

Healthcare costs less when patient's have the freedom of choice, without all the middlemen in the way of better health!

Hey! I can dream, Can't I ??

Interesting Article:

Low-Carb Diet Effective at Lowering Blood Pressure

This study compared a low-carb diet to the over the counter drug Orlistat- combined with a low fat diet. Over twice as many individuals on the low-carb diet 47%, versus the Orlistat-low fat diet 21%, were able to decrease or come off of their blood pressure medications. So the old saying that, "once on a blood pressure medication, always on a blood pressure medication", has once again been proven false. If you need help with a lower carbohydrate diet, please look into our Healthy Weight Program.

Healthcare Reform Update:

My views on healthcare reform are pretty well known by now. With the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, many pundits felt that the present reforms were dead. Unfortunately it may not be! There are many rumors circulating of more back room political deals to find a way to shove these reforms down our throats. I encourage you to remain involved in the debate, and do not let your guard down.

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311

To follow The Institute For Medical Wellness on Twitter.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Institute For Medical Wellness Healthy Living Report

At The Institute For Medical Wellness, we know how to "put out the fires" when it comes to your health. But as Smokey the Bear always said,

"Only you can prevent forest fires"

Hey Doc, "What have you been smoking? What does smokey the bear have to do with my health?"

Let me explain.

When I was in my residency, and cruising the hospital floors, I was often called to "put out the fires". In layman's terms, that meant treating diabetics with high sugars, the elderly with complications of pneumonia, and post-surgical patients with complications or increased pain. My training taught me well and laid the foundation for my further professional skills.

But it is now 19 years since I graduated from medical school, and 16 years since I completed my family practice residency, and I have seen the healthcare system become more and more bogged down, by focusing almost solely on putting out the fires. What I did not see was preventive healthcare. What I did not see was a Smokey the Bear in healthcare helping people to prevent illness.

How bout another quote. This one from Benjamin Franklin.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

In 2008, with the founding of The Institute for Medical Wellness, I decided to bend the curve towards more prevention of disease as I believe that prevention should be the hallmark and the future of family practice. The affordable Wellness Plans we offer are geared towards helping you work on lifestyle changes to prevent further and future illness. Wellness Plans are especially helpful in patient's with Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, High Cholesterol, or any other healthcare condition that requires more attention.

How about cancer prevention?

The Institute for Medical Wellness has teamed with Myriad Labs to offer genetic testing for patient's with a history of Breast, Ovarian, Endometrial or Colon Cancer.

In fact, Myriad Labs has offered to perform these tests on five (5) patient's at no cost.

Before you get too excited, there are limits and exclusions to this offer.

1) First, you must be an established patient of our practice,

2) Second, you also have to fit certain criteria listed below:

Patients with any of the following personal or family history features may be candidates for hereditary cancer testing:

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC)
•Breast Cancer before age 50
•Ovarian Cancer at any age
•Both breast and ovarian cancer
•2 or more breast cancers, one under age 50
•Male breast cancer
•Bilateral breast cancer
•Women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent with breast or ovarian cancer at any age
•A previously identified BRCA mutation
Lynch Syndrome/Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)
•Endometrial cancer before age 50
•Colorectal cancer before age 50
•2 or more Lynch syndrome cancers, including ovarian, stomach, kidney/urinary tract, brain, or small bowel cancer, in an individual or family
•A previously identified mutation
If you feel you meet the criteria above, please call our office at 856-231-0590 to schedule an evaluation. If you are one of the first five to meet the criteria, we will set you up for testing.
Interesting Article:

I came across this article the other day. The title was "California First State to Shorten Wait Times for Doctor Appointments". It made me laugh pretty hard. It appears that the State of California believes that by mandating insurance companies to shorten the waiting time for patient's to be able to see their doctor's, that it would magically happen.

Examples of the new standards include:
•48 hours for urgent care appointments that do not require prior authorization.
•96 hours for urgent care appointments requiring prior authorization (including specialists).
•10 business days for non-urgent primary care appointments.
•15 business days for non-urgent appointments with specialists.
•10 business days for non-urgent appointments with a mental healthcare provider.
Why do I find it so funny? I do not participate with any of the insurers or their regulations. Yet if you call my office in the morning of a workday, you will be offered a same-day appointment 99% of the time. That is what happens when a physicians office decides to cater to patient's, not insurers or government regulators!

Healthcare Reform Update:

Please click here to read a letter to the editor I wrote that was published in the Burlington County Times on January 22, 2010.

Quote of the day from Massachusetts newest Senator Scott Brown about Washington D.C.

"This is the best place in the world when it comes to solving problems"

While I may not totally agree that Washington D.C. is the best place when it comes to solving problems, I do believe that The Institute For Medical Wellness will continue to grow into being the best place in the Moorestown and the South Jersey area to help you solve your healthcare problems, but always with a strong focus on wellness and prevention.

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311

To follow The Institute For Medical Wellness on Twitter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bugs and UPS

January 21, 2010

Institute For Medical Wellness Health and Wellness Report

First a Health Update:

I am often asked, "Hey Doc, are there any infections going around?'

My usual answer is, "There is always something going around" , but today I will mention a few and how you can hopefully prevent "going around with them."

There are three infections that I have seen over the past few weeks, including:

•a nasty stomach virus
•a respiratory virus that sometimes contributes to also contracting pneumonia.
•The emergency rooms have been reporting an increase in RSV, respiratory synctial virus, which is another nasty respiratory virus. And for many years, the seasonal flu becomes a problem soon after RSV peaks.

So how can you avoid these "nasty bugs"?

1.Wash or rinse your hands if you are in contact with someone who may be sick or just recently recovered from an illness. Surprisingly, soap is not always necessary. Just rinsing your hands under running water is usually enough. The reason being that our skin has many defenses against infections, including the many natural oils it produces. These oils on our skin act as a barrier to infections getting through into the body. Let me give you an example. If our hands contact an infectious organism, it first lodges on the oils of our skin. As oil and water do not mix, if we can run our hands under water, the organism will be rinsed away, hopefully down the drain.

2.Our skin also is populated by many beneficial bacteria that aid in our defense by keeping the bad bacteria under control. If we continually use soap or anti-bacterial soaps, we kill off these beneficial bacteria, thereby lowering our ability to prevent repopulation with the bad bacteria.

3.Respiratory Viruses are usually contracted by airborne particles that we breathe in through our own respiratory tracts. Avoiding breathing in air that has been recently coughed out by someone with a respiratory infection is important. But you need to be on guard, as you never know when someone will be coughing on or around you. Do what I do in the exam room. Act like a boxer trying to avoid a punch, by being ready to move quickly.

4.The simplest way to avoid these bugs is to increase your bodies own immune systems. Healthy lifestyles are important, but as there are many conflicting opinions as to what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, I will instead suggest a few supplements, such as Vitamin D and probiotics. Both of these supplements are available at the Institute For Medical Wellness, and for the remainder of January, Vitamin D is available for $15, a $5 discount from its regular price.

5.If you have not yet been vaccinated for the seasonal flu, we still have a limited amount of vaccinations available, at first come first served.
Healthcare Reform Update:

What can Brown do for you?

No, I am not talking about UPS. I am talking about Scott Brown, the Senator-elect from Massachusetts.

By winning the special election in Massachusetts, his election may have tipped the scale to ending the present healthcare reform bill, and allowing a "reboot" of the entire process of healthcare reform. In my view, that would be good news for you, and good news for the country. But we have to wait and see what happens in Washington, D.C. I still worry that this reform bill will be jammed down our throats by some mechanism. Let's hope my worries do not become reality.

Even if this reform bill is defeated, it should not end the quest for healthcare system reform. As I have written about in past newsletters, we still need to reform the system. But first. it must be based on the fundamental principle of individual responsibility, that would allow healthcare decisions to be made by yourself and your doctor or other healthcare provider. That would mean no insurance regulator and no political bureaucrat getting in your way to better health and wellness. For this to occur, we need to stop equating access to healthcare with health insurance. If we return to the health insurance of our parents and grandparents, with higher deductibles, much lower premiums, and individual responsibility, the costs of healthcare will drop dramatically, opening up the system to millions of uninsured.

At the Institute For Medical Wellness, your healthcare needs are not determined by your insurance. Our practice encompasses individuals and families from all socioeconomic groups, some with, and some without insurance. Yet it does not matter, as everyone gets the same care, with no third party intrusion. At the Institute for Medical Wellness, we only answer to you!

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311

To follow The Institute For Medical Wellness on Twitter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Kidney Stones - Part Two

Institute For Medical Wellness Healthy Living Report January 18, 2010

Today's topic is once again kidney stones.

For those of you who read my last newsletter, you learned I had the unfortunate luck to experience a kidney stone. Tried as I may, I was unable to avoid a short hospital stay. I have always known that hospitals are not wonderful places to be, and they can really put a crimp on your normal activities. All kidding aside, my hospital stay was uneventful, and the nursing staff was superb. But still, my job is too help you avoid hospitals as much as possible.

So how can you avoid kidney stones?

The most common type of stone is one made of calcium oxalate, and this is the type I will focus on today. In general, when we have too much calcium going through the kidneys, or not enough water to keep our urine dilute, calcium can crystallize in the kidney by precipitating out as a solid stone. If we can drink plenty of fluids at this point, we can still pass these small stones without ever knowing we had one. But if we do not drink enough, the stone can increase in size to a point where passage of the stone can be quite painful.

But calcium does not act alone. In calcium oxalate stones, oxalic acid forms around the stone and increases its size. So another good dietary tip, if you are a calcium oxalate stone former, is to keep your dietary oxalates very low. A good list on dietary oxalates can be found here.

Please do not lower your calcium intake. Medical studies disagree on calcium restriction as a means of preventing kidney stones. Also calcium in your diet is needed for many other important functions. If your body does not get enough calcium in its diet, it will take calcium out of your bones. This may lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.

My number one recommendation to prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones remains:

Drink, drink and drink some more. Drink until your urine is clear with just a hint of yellow.

But what do I do if I have a known kidney stone, of a size that can pass spontaneously, other than drink , drink and drink some more?

I followed the recommendations from a website that uses an interesting method to move a stone from your kidney, down your ureter, into your bladder. It is called the jump and bump method and it can be found here.

While this method may not work for everyone, it may have worked for me. When my stone began causing bad pain, I used this method and within 3 hours, my pain went from my left kidney area to my groin, which usually indicates the stone has moved down to almost the level of the bladder. Once the stone is in the bladder, the horrible pain of renal colic is gone, and passage of the stone out of the bladder is the next step. While this last step may not be very comfortable, it pales in comparison to renal colic.

But remember, the best medicine is still prevention!!
Healthcare Reform Update:

On Tuesday January 19th, 2010, Massachusetts will be holding a special election to fill the Senate seat once occupied by the late Ted Kennedy. For healthcare reform, the stakes are high. The Democrat in the race, Martha Coakely, has vowed to vote for the present healthcare reforms making their way through private closed door meetings. Her opponent, Scott Brown, a Republican, has vowed to vote against the present reforms. In fact, if he is elected, he would be the 41st No vote in the Senate, which would hopefully put a stop to this massive healthcare scheme.

I am a registered independent, and will vote for the best person for the job. As healthcare is my life's chosen profession, my hope in this race is for Scott Brown. A No vote on the Obama healthcare scheme would hopefully allow us to reboot the entire reform approach and start over again. However I have one caveat. If the present healthcare scheme is defeated, I do not want healthcare reform on the back burner. I want it front and center! However this time, I want the following players around the negotiating table who are likely to care more about individuals than profits:
  • Individuals- both insured and uninsured. At present we seem to be more focused on the uninsured than those presently insured.
  • Independent physicians- Independent physicians represent only two parties, patient's and themselves. There is little group-think or corporate interests.
  • Community based hospitals- large hospital systems tend to be run with their corporate interests at heart, while smaller community based hospitals tend to be closer to their patient's.
  • Independent pharmacies- similar concept to hospitals mentioned above.
  • Other independently owned healthcare providing organizations
  • C-SPAN - at least for transparency

Who do I not want at the table. Well, that answer is simple. Everyone that is there now. The following players care more about their corporations, organizations and profits than patient's.

The following should be barred from further negotiations:
  • Health Insurers- care more about profits and control than individuals
  • AMA (American Medical Association)- they no longer represent the majority of physicians views. They are more interested in continuing the status quo to increase revenues to their corporation.
  • AARP - stands to make many millions in revenues if Obamacare passes. They are in Obama's back pocket.
  • Big Pharma - they need to be cleaned up and they need to end all dealings with the government and insurers and once again deal directly with individuals. Cutting out the bureaucratic middleman would not only drop the cost of medications dramatically, but most likely increase their bottom lines, allowing more investment in research and development.
  • Medical Device Manufacturers- ditto above comments about Big Pharma.
  • Any large corporation- Do they actually have individuals best interests at heart??
  • Politicians- they got us into this mess, and they will only make things worse. If you want your senator or congressman treating you in the hospital, then by all means support Obamacare. But if you prefer your doctor, then get the politicians out of the way.
  • Any and every special interest that I neglected to mention. There should be no special interest when a patient is obtaining medical care. The only and supreme interest should be the care of the individual!
    Institute For Medical Wellness Happenings:

    At The Institute For Medical Wellness, we combine dietary advice with medical management to help you achieve a healthier weight. That is why our Healthy Weight Program is off to a good start. One thing that sets us apart from other programs is our use of private internet communication, in the form of a shared document that is individualized to you! That means that no two programs are the same.

    And due to popular demand, we will be extending our $100 discount through the end of January. So there is no better time than now to let us help you achieve that healthy weight. More information on the Healthy Weight Program can be found here.
    Wellness Network:

    This month I would like to introduce you one of our network affiliates, Paula Andersen, who has an acupuncture practice located in Moorestown. Paula is offering Wellness Programs through the Institute For Medical Wellness in the following categories.

Package 1: Stress Reduction and Immune Building

Package 2: Pain Reduction

Package 3: Hormone Balancing

More information on Paula's Wellness Programs can be found here.
New offers:

We are now able to offer a supplement of the month. For the remainder of January, we will be offering our Vitamin D3 drops, for $15, a savings of $5 each. This offer starts January 18th, and will continue while present supplies last.
Quote of the day and one of my favorite signs in the office:

" Indecision, may or may not be my problem ."

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311
To follow The Institute For Medical Wellness on Twitter.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How it looks to sit in someone elses chair

January 11, 2010

How it looks to sit in someone elses chair!

Something surprising happened a few weeks ago. I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. For those of you who have ever personally, or seen a family member deal with kidney stones, it is not fun. As a physician I have helped many patients through the ordeal, but until recently have never had the experience myself.

And an experience it was!!

Let me tell you, it is not something you would wish on your worst enemy. I ended up admitted to the hospital over the weekend for treatment, and while there had plenty of spare time to write down my thoughts.

While lying in my hospital bed waiting for the stone to pass, I wrote down some thoughts, and also took some pictures to make the presentation a bit nicer. And No, I was not on any pain meds during these thoughts. Unfortunately, this is how my mind works on a regular basis ; )

There once was a doctor named Steven,
Whose kidney decided to get even,
He developed a stone,
Called the ER on the phone,
and said "This pain is so bad I think I'm dyin"

He arrived at the ER in pain,
treatment he hoped to attain,
the insurance was payin,
as they filled him with saline,
and the meds made him feel like he was flyin.

One day later the stone was gone,
in a plastic jug, instead of his kidney, it belonged,
his pain went away,
good riddance he say,

And back to work in a day he is eyeing.

Yea, I know, I am no Dr. Seuss !!

This was my first hospitalization as an adult. While my hospital stay was uneventful, it still reinforced my views on prevention of illness, the hallmark of The Institute For Medical Wellness.

Do anything you can do to not ever develop a stone, as its pain is said to be worse than childbirth. Luckily for me, Childbirth pain I will never experience. The most important thing you can do to prevent a kidney stone is to drink plenty of fluids. So drink, and drink some more, until your urine is fairly clear with only a hint of yellow.

Click below for a link on dietary prevention of kidney stones.
From WEB-MD, diet recommendations for prevention of kidney stones.

With round the clock hospital care, you develop a special type of closeness with those around you.

Let me introduce you to a few of my new friends whom I shall never forget:

Please enable picture viewing.

First there is Sally the saline bag,

who kept hanging around with Ivy the IV pole.

In fact they never went anywhere apart from each other, or me!!

Wally the water pitcher was my friend who was always by my side,

but not as close as Rennie the TV remote.

I was not able to get pictures of Lana the lab tech, or Louie the light cord.

And no one got closer to me than my Urologist, who shall forever now be known to me as "fingers".

Enough said.

I look forward to being back on the job on Tuesday January 12, 2010.

To Good Health!

Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Institute For Medical Wellness State of the Practice for 2010

January 2, 2010

Institute For Medical Wellness State of the Practice for 2010

I know.

Kind of corny.

But why should only our presidents and governors have all the fun! Besides, what I write below is factual and truthful, unlike most political speeches, regardless of party, and this state of the practice newsletter will be given without the use of a teleprompter ;)

So here goes.....

My fellow Americans, Wellness Plan members, patients, newsletter subscribers, and anyone and everyone else interested in achieving better health and wellness, I am happy to bring to you the The Institute For Medical Wellness State of The Practice 2010.

Two years ago, in 2008, I was elected, um, scratch that, I founded the Institute For Medical Wellness to provide healthcare like it used to be, without insurance, government, or other third party intrusion. While the transition has been a true learning experience, by the response I have received from my patient's and the community, it is one I have never regretted. I am happy to report that by bypassing the traditional third party route of healthcare, and instead dealing directly with you, we have been able to drastically decrease our overall operating budget, which allows us to continue to offer and expand our services at truly low costs. I am also happy to report that we are not 12 trillion dollars in debt and our budget is fully balanced. Take that Washington, D.C. and Trenton!!

I would now like to share with you some of the proud accomplishments since our founding in 2008.

*Same day appointments are the standard, with new patient visits available same or next day
*60 minute Wellness exams focusing on wellness and illness prevention
*Zero copay Traditional Wellness Plans- a much less expensive version of Concierge or Boutique practices, and now available with monthly payment options
*Greater than 90% of Wellness Plan patient's continue to re-enroll year to year.
*20% growth of patient's enrolled in our Traditional Wellness Plan
*Welcoming back of many patient's who returned to our practice after leaving during our 2008 transition, after they sampled traditional third party healthcare delivery
*Expanding Wellness network affiliates- from Naturopathy to Fitness, Massage and Acupuncture, more choices are now available.
*Increasing number of subscribers to our free email newsletter

My professional objective in founding The Institute For Medical Wellness is to offer the absolute best care - without compromise, and to serve as your primary advocate for health and wellness by combining holistic care and traditional old-fashioned values with true modern day medical expertise. My primary goal is to make certain that our attention is solely focused on YOU, not your insurance or some government bureaucrat.

In today's economy, providing this type of healthcare can be challenging. Many businesses are reducing services to cut expenses. But I have always been a contrarian, so at The Institute For Medical Wellness, I take a different approach. I prefer to expand and make more services available, some of which I will mention below.

1) New more easily individualized Wellness Programs.

Last year, in my eagerness to offer many different wellness programs, the choices became a bit confusing, even to me. So starting in 2010, wellness programs will be re-organized in a friendlier way. The Institute For Medical Wellness network affiliates will now be offering individual A-La-Health and wellness programs, which can be purchased separately, or better yet, added to our Traditional Wellness Plan. If added to our Traditional Wellness Plan, you will also receive 20% off all supplements purchased from our office.

2) Our new Healthy Weight Program is now available.

This physician supervised weight management programs main focus is on achieving a healthier weight, curbing hunger, while achieving optimum nutrition. It is ideal for treating diet related disorders including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, among many others.

Each individualized program will consist of:

-Full initial evaluation by Dr Horvitz- medical and diet history, review of labwork to determine your metabolic needs, initial measurements and goal setting.
--Follow-up to review labs and start on program.
---An individualized starter package of nutritional supplements geared to your medical history.
----Monthly supplies of Dream protein
-----Twice-monthly office visits to check on your progress and make any necessary adjustments.

*Big discount if combined with our Traditional Wellness Plan.
*Discount of $75 if combined with our 8-Hour Optimum Results personal training program.
*Discounts also available for partners joining together.
*Healthy Weight Programs offered are for 3, 6 and 12 months.

For more information please visit our website here.

3) Nutritional and dietary supplements available at the Institute For Medical Wellness

Nutritional supplements have become a bigger part of The Institute For Medical Wellness. This is not due solely to my health and wellness beliefs, but more to the demands of my patient's. The nutritional supplement industry is not regulated as strictly as pharmaceuticals and there are thousands of supplements available at stores and thru the internet. This is both good and bad. The good is in the greater innovation and less expense in bringing a product to market. The bad is there are less mechanisms in place that make sure you are truly getting what you are purchasing. So at The Institute For Medical Wellness, we only carry supplements from very reputable manufacturers who have put their products through very strict procedures to be certain that you get what you buy. If you want more proof, most of the products we sell have been or are presently being used by myself or my family. Click here for a list of the different supplements we have available. Also note that discounts are available with certain A-La-Health programs.

4) Genetic testing for Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer , Colon cancer and Melanoma are now available at The Institute For Medical Wellness.

I have teamed up with Myriad Genetics and Laboratories, a company designed to help patients and healthcare professionals understand how genetic testing can help identify individuals at risk for hereditary cancer. There are ways to reduce your risk or overcome cancer in your lifetime. If cancer runs in your family, hereditary cancer testing may be an important step for you. Click on this link and take the quiz to see if testing is right for you.

5) Medical Records

Keeping an accurate medical record is one important part of your care. Back in 2004, ahead of most physician practices, I transitioned from paper to electronic health records. While it occasionally makes me pull out what little remaining hair I have, electronic health records also have many positives. One is their ease of access. When we had paper records, the time involved to keep them updated was very costly, both in time and materials. Not as much with electronic records. So we can now offer Wellness Plan patients one digital copy of your medical records per year for personal use if securely emailed as a pdf file. If you prefer a hard copy on a CD, a fee of $15 is required. For all other patients, the fee is $15 for a digital copy and $25 for a hard copy on CD. Please note, fees are different if records are required for legal, transfer or insurance requests.

6) Telephone consults now available

While many patient's take it for granted that doctor's will prescribe treatment over the phone, it is not always good sound medical practice, nor the best for patient care. But many patient's in my practice have strongly requested these consults. Thus, I am adding phone consultations to the services I offer, in the hope that when used in the proper circumstances will be of benefit to you. Phone consultations simply consists of phone time spent with you evaluating your health complaints, and prescribing treatment. For example, if you are feeling ill, but stuck at work or home, you can arrange a phone consultation.

The following fees will be charged dependent upon the time spent on consultation or if treatment is ordered or prescribed:

5 minutes or less without treatment prescribed = No charge
10 minutes or less with treatment prescribed = $45
11-15 minutes with treatment prescribed = $75

Any consultation that would require more than 15 minutes requires an on-office evaluation. If you are seen in the office for the same illness within one week of your phone consult, you will receive $25 off your in-office follow-up. Phone consultations will most often be used to evaluate and treat recurrent illnesses such as sinusitis or urinary tract infections. This service is not available to new patient's, nor to any condition Dr Horvitz feels requires an in-office evaluation. To schedule a phone consult, please call our office at 856-231-0590. A valid credit card or a bank debit arrangement is needed for this service.

These fees are not applicable for the following:

* Quick follow-up phone conversations about a recent office evaluation.
* Wellness plan members, as these services are already included as part of your plan.
* As Medicare rules are vague on telephone consults, this service is not available to Traditional Medicare patients.
* Routine requests such as pharmacy refills, appointments or non-physician requests.

7) Help with insurance reimbursement

We realize that medical billing can be very frustrating, which is one of the many reasons my office stopped working with insurers. But just as medical billing is frustrating to my office, it can be equally frustrating to my patient's awaiting insurance reimbursement. So in 2010, we will now be submitting paid office charges to your insurance to help you with reimbursement. For this process to run smoothly, please make sure we have an updated copy of the front and back of your health insurance cards, as well as your signed authorization.

8) Beginning January 1st, 2010, there will be a $25 charge added to your first office visit each calendar year, with a $40 maximum per family. The reasons for this fee is as follows.

-Upgrading our medical records systems due to the stricter government regulations concerning these systems.
--Increased insurance submission costs. This charge will hopefully be more than offset by any insurance reimbursement you receive by having your paid office visit fees submitted electronically to your insurer.
---Complying with the government's new privacy payment plan law due to take effect in 2010.

*Please note that this fee is not applicable if you are enrolled in our Traditional Wellness Plan or for Traditional Medicare patients.
*This fee is applicable irrespective of whether you have insurance coverage.

9) The Institute For Medical Wellness can now be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IMWHorvitz

I anticipate utilizing twitter for notification of office updates including interesting health, medical and wellness information, availability of flu vaccine, and inclement weather closings. Don't worry, you will not be tweeted about what I ate for lunch today, although I can say, it was probably low in processed carbohydrates, very filling, and very tasty ; )

I would like to thank everyone for their confidence in my professional abilities and referrals of new patient's to the practice as well as to the Wellness Plans. If you are presently in the Traditional Wellness Plan, and refer a new patient to this plan, you will receive 1 month added on to your plan for the first referral, and two months added on for every other new patient you refer. Just my way of saying Thank You for your confidence!!

It is always nice to get good feedback. Good feedback tells me that I am definitely moving in the right direction! So please check out the recent patient testimonials sent to our office.

My New Years Resolution is that you allow The Institute For Medical Wellness to help you make 2010 a healthy and prosperous year!!

This concludes the Institute For Medical Wellness State of The Practice 2010 newsletter. I will now leave the stage quickly, and you will not hear the media pundits restating over and over again what you have just read. Anyhow, it does not matter to me what others say about The Institute For Medical Wellness. As my primary goal is your individual health, the only one that matters when you are in my office, is YOU!!!

To Good Health and a prosperous 2010!!

Steven Horvitz, D.O,
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone 856-231-0590
Fax 856-294-0311