The Plentywood Clinic survived the Y2K Millennium bug! As we returned to work on January 3rd, the thought was
definitely in the back of everyone’s mind as to what we would find on
our computer system. And
Flu season is definitely among us here in Sheridan County.
In the prevention of flu, The Plentywood Clinic administered
approximately 730 flu shots this year.
But this obviously was not enough.
Dr. Stoner is the Sheridan County Health Officer and to date, has
reported at least 40 known cases of influenza to the State of Montana.
Flu shots cost $10 and are good for approximately 7 months.
It is recommended that everyone get a flu shot in October, just
before the start of flu season. The
shot will last until approximately April which is months after the usual
predicted flu season. Influenza
vaccines are 85% effective against both Strain A and Strain B influenza.
Statistics state that the average “healthy” individual will
actually get the flu 1 in 8 years. Should you choose not to get a flu shot, over an eight year
period you will save $80. However,
should you get the flu during that time, you will spend approximately $75
on medical and pharmacy costs, plus miss an average of 10 days of work.
Therefore, the $80 you saved has quickly been spent,
then you have to hope you don’t get the flu again next year.
How late is too late to get your flu shot?
We like to start giving the immunizations in October and complete
them in December. You can
still get the shot after that, but it does take 10-14 days before it takes
affect. So, did you save $10
The Plentywood Clinic is participating in the Montana
Breast and Cervical Health Program.
This is a program for low income Montana women to receive yearly
mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap testing and pelvic exams, as well
as breast self-exam education. Income
guidelines are as follows:
Women must be 50 - 64 years in age, have no health
insurance, or insurance that will not pay for these tests each year, and
meet the income guidelines.
Medicare will pay for certain medications and durable medical
equipment, if the patient has a specific diagnosis and prescription.
Following are just a
few of the items covered by Medicare:
Diabetic Patients May Have:
testing strips. 100 per month
for insulin dependent patients and 100 strips per 3 months for non-insulin
** This is subject to $100 deductible per year on
** Insulin and syringes are not covered by
Asthma and COPD Patients May Have:
solutions used to treat these diagnosis.
** Medicare will not pay for inhalers, but
will pay for nebulizer solutions which can be used in place of some
inhalers with a prescription from your doctor.
Durable Medical Products include items such as:
Canes, Crutches, Walkers, Wheelchairs, Hospital Beds,
Etc. These will all be
covered if ordered with an appropriate diagnosis and written prescription.
These can also be rented on a monthly basis and paid
for by Medicare.
Men over 65 years of age can now have a yearly PSA (Prostate
Specific Antigen). This is a
screening test for prostate cancer. In
the past Medicare did not cover this test as a screening test. But as of January 2000, it is covered.
Cancer . . .
The Plentywood Clinic has a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool
program, put out by The National Cancer Institute.
This is a computer program that can estimate a women’s chances of
developing breast cancer based on several recognized risk factors.
The patient will be asked 6 questions and the program then computes
a risk factor based on those answers.
It will then print out the risk factor over a 5 year period and
over a lifetime period, along with an explanation.
This program is offered free of charge to our patients and is used
as part of our health maintenance prevention program.
More New Faces
Season Bjorgen and Michelle Deming are our latest additions to the
clinic. Both of them started
this month. Season is working part-time in the front office and will be
covering for Tressa when she goes on maternity leave in March.
Michelle Deming is working one to two afternoons a month doing
dietary education. Michelle
has a Bachelor Degree in Dietetics from Montana State University.
She lacks only a six month internship of being a full fledge
dietitian. She is very
knowledgeable in the area of nutrition, and is seeing patients one on one.
If you would like an appointment with her, please call the clinic
doctor visits are by appointment only.
The following is a schedule for the Plentywood Clinic.