Plentywood Clinic PC

 

 
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            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 everything passed.

 

   Flu Season

 

            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 this year?

 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:

Family     Yearly $              Family        Yearly $

   1         $16, 480                     5                       $39,040

   2         $22,120                      6                       $44,680

   3         $27,760                      7                       $50,320

   4         $33,400                      8           $55,960

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 Update

            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:

1.  Glucose testing strips.  100 per month for insulin dependent patients and 100 strips per 3 months for non-insulin dependent patients.

2.  Lancets.

3.  Penlet devices.

4.  Glucose Monitors.

 

** This is subject to $100 deductible per year on diabetic supplies.

 

** Insulin and syringes are not covered by Medicare.

 

Asthma and COPD Patients May Have:

 

1.  Nebulizer 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.

 

 

 

Breast Cancer . . .

What’s Your Risk?

 

     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 for dates.

 

 

All doctor visits are by appointment only.  The following is a schedule for the Plentywood Clinic.

 

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DR. KIRK STONER            MONDAY

                                                TUESDAY

                                                WEDNESDAY

                                                THURSDAY  AM  ONLY

                                                FRIDAY

                                                SAT  9 - 11 (WALK-INS)

A. SKORPIL, PAC              MONDAY

                                                TUESDAY

                                                THURSDAY

To make an appointment with either Dr. Stoner or Mrs. Skorpil, you need to call the Plentywood Clinic at 406-765-1501

Emergency room protocol dictates that unless you specifically request the services of your own family physician, you may be assigned to the ER doctor on call. If you have questions, call the Plentywood Clinic at 765-1501.