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    What is the ‘Inside Scoop II’?

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | June 3rd, 2018

    What is the ‘Inside Scoop II’?

    I was recently talking with a friend who was complaining of the price of prescription drugs. She told me that there were some drugs that her insurance was not covering. I asked her if she had ever heard of Good Rx. She answered “no”. I told her to google Good Rx and then type in the drugs that she needed – “sometimes you can get the drug 50% less than what is quoted by the pharmacist”.  She indeed got her prescription drugs at a lower cost. She eventually called back thankful and annoyed. I asked her why she was annoyed – she told me she was annoyed because she had been paying so much for her medications and if she had the ‘inside scoop’, she would have saved some money.  She was also wondering about the people that did not have a friend who was a doctor. I challenged her and asked whether she had ever talked with her own physician. She mentioned it was so hard to reach her physician. I then asked her whether she used the patient portal“What is that?” she replied.

    My friend is a college educated woman and was not aware of the patient portal or Good Rx and it made me wonder how many other people were not aware.

    Patient Portal – A secure online website that gives patients a convenient 24 hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection. Using a secure username and password, you can view your health information and do many other things. Although 90% of providers offer patient portal access, unfortunately, less than one third of patients are accessing their health information. If you have access to a patient portal and you are not taking advantage of it, you are missing an opportunity to improve your health care. On the portal:

    • You have the ability to look at your health records to make sure that they are accurate
    • Check your labs and look at trends (very important for knowing your numbers)
    • Request prescription refills
    • Schedule non-urgent appointments
    • Update your contact information
    • View educational material on your medical condition
    • Communicate with your physician (you can send secure messages to your physician – please know that most likely a nurse will view the message before sending the message to the physician)

    The patient portal is called different names depending on which electronic health record system your physician uses.  If you are not signed up with a patient portal, please ask your doctor the next time you go to the office. You will be given a special code to sign up. Sometimes people sign up and forget their password. Use a password that you will remember. You are missing an opportunity to take better control of your health and to have better communication with your provider if you do not sign up. You do not need a computer to sign up. Your smart phone can do the job. If you have neither, you can get access to a computer in your public library.  As a physician, I tell my patients that the quickest way to reach me is through the patient portal and I am not alone.

     

    GOOD RX – A website and mobile app that tracks prescription drug prices and offers drug coupons in the United States. You cannot use this with your insurance. Typically it is used if you find that your medication is not covered by your insurance or if you find that the drug price is expensive even with your insurance. You can download the app or you can go on the website, type in the drug name and it will list the prices and the pharmacy.  Print or download the coupons. I will tell you that sometimes the pharmacy listed with the coupon might not want to honor the price; you can call the Good Rx customer service.

     

    If you are new to my blog and want more ‘inside scoop’, please read the blog titled – GYNECOLOGY 101: WHAT IS THE ‘INSIDE SCOOP’?

     

     

     

    4 Responses to “What is the ‘Inside Scoop II’?”

    1. April says:

      Great information!!

      Thanks again
      April

    2. Chinwe Okpalaoka says:

      My patient portal is priceless- I can make my own appointments and even do some quick consults with my doctor and this saves me from going in every single time:-)

    3. Bea says:

      I utilize “My Chart” to access my medical records and communicate with my doctors. Is patient portal a similar website?
      Bea

      • Ngozi Osuagwu, MD says:

        “MyChart” is one of many patient portal site. The name of the patient portal site is dependent on the electronic medical system that the hospital system or the physician office uses.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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