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Direct Primary Care Legislation Passes Congress

Direct Primary Care Legislation Passes Congress
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Thank you Congressman Tom Cole

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 6199 (the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018) on July 25 by a vote of 277-142. View votes

Our Congressman Tom Cole joined a bipartisan majority to finally correct an IRS problem that has prevented Oklahomans from using their health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay membership dues at MainStreet Clinic and other DPC clinics across the state and the country.

Previously, the IRS ruled that direct primary care (DPC) clinic membership was a “separate health plan.” Under IRS rules, that prevented taxpayers from spending their own HSA money on a membership at MainStreet Clinic. Congressional action is required to fix this and overrule the IRS.

Thanks also to our Washington lobbyist Jay Keese for his hard work over the past 5 years to make this happen. But we’re not finished!

Next Step: On To The Senate

What can you do?

1. Call or write Congressman Tom Cole to thank him for his leadership on this matter. Tom Cole just happens to be the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Mr. Cole’s subcommittee has a voice in shaping health care policy and he is an important leader in Congress.

2. Ask Mr. Cole to use his leverage to pass future legislation that adds direct primary care (DPC) clinic membership to the list of all “qualified medical expenses” under IRS Code 213(d).

Yes, this sounds confusing because it is.

What this means is that when the cost of belonging to MainSt Clinic is considered a “medical expense” by the IRS, then your membership fees will be tax-deductible and all the problems of paying for membership with health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) or flex spending accounts (FSAs) will be eliminated!

3. Contact Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe to request they do the same: support the Senate version of HR 6199 and support future legislation to include DPC membership fees as a legitimate medical expense in 213(d).

Rep. Tom Cole

Email

711 SW D Ave, Ste 201
Lawton, OK 73501
Phone: (580) 357-2131
Fax: (580) 357-7477

Sen. Jim Inhofe

Email

3817 NW Expressway St, Ste 780
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Main: (405) 208-8841
Fax: (405) 604-0917

Sen. James Lankford

Email

1015 N. Broadway Ave, Ste 310
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 231-4941

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Direct Primary Care, News

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Annual Lupus Walk Raises Awareness and Money to Fight Terrible Disease

Annual Lupus Walk Raises Awareness and Money to Fight Terrible Disease

Less than one-half of one percent of Americans suffer Lupus, yet for those 1.5 million people, it is a devastating disease.

You can help easily by supporting the Lupi-Shenanigans Team this week! The annual OKC Lupus Walk is June 2nd at the OKC Zoo. Walk in OKC this Saturday if you can or donate to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, support people affected by the disease and find the cause and the cure.

MainStreet Clinic is one of two local sponsors of the Lupi-Shenanigans Team at the annual Oklahoma fundraising event this year. Donate $30 to The Lupi-Shenanigan’s Team Page and receive this cool Lupi-Shenanigans Adventure hat (while supply lasts)!

According to the Mayo Clinic, Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that prompts your body’s immune system to attack your own tissue and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus is a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks. 90 percent of lupus suffers in the U.S. are women and when this facial symptom arises, it feels like terror.

Your donation will have a lasting effect on Lupus research right here in Oklahoma. All monies donated to the Oklahoma Lupus Foundation stays in our great state to work toward new drug therapies and eventually a cure. Learn more at the Oklahoma Lupus Foundation.

Lupi-Shenanigan’s Team Page: https://bit.ly/2IGF8wS

Team Lupi-Shenanigans Adventure Hat

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Supercharge Your Summer Salads with High-Protein Vegetables and Grains

Supercharge Your Summer Salads with High-Protein Vegetables and Grains

Adding Protein-Rich Plant Foods to Your Diet

Getting protein in your diet from vegetables and grains is one of the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease.

But how do you change your diet gradually?

Crisp, leafy salads with plant proteins are a perfect choice for those seeking high nutrition and healthy weight loss. According to Prevention Magazine, these protein-rich plant foods can help you supercharge your summer salads, soups or stir fries for better nutrition and cardiovascular health.

Many protein-rich legumes, grains and vegetables can be found right here at the Murphy Farms Store in Walters.

See recipes ideas for:

Quinoa Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

Indian-Style Red Lentil Soup

Gazpacho: Salad With A Spoon

Organic Edamame (cooked soy beans)
Protein: 18 g per 1-cup serving

Lentils
Protein: 9 g per ½-cup serving

Quinoa
Protein: 8 g per 1-cup serving

Black Beans
Protein: 7.6 g per ½-cup serving

Lima Beans
Protein: 7.3 g per ½-cup serving

Peanuts or Peanut Butter
Protein: 7 g per ¼-cup serving (or 2 Tbsp peanut butter)

Wild Rice
Protein: 6.5 g per 1-cup serving

Chickpeas
Protein: 6 g per ½-cup serving

Almonds
Protein: 6 g per ¼-cup serving

Cashews
Protein: 5 g per ¼-cup serving

Spinach
Protein: 3 g per ½-cup serving

So how much protein should we get every day?

WebMD offers these suggested amounts of protein per day:

Babies 10 g

School-age kids 19-34 g

Teenage boys up to 52 g

Teenage girls and women 46 g

Adult men 56 g

Pregnant and breastfeeding women 71 g

Download Our May-June Newsletter PDF

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Your Health

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The Local Y Is Your Pathway To Better Heart Health Through Exercise

The Local Y Is Your Pathway To Better Heart Health Through Exercise

Lawton Family YMCA Offers More Than 20 Healthy Exercise Classes and a Free Strength and Flexibility Test with Beginner Workout Plan

The local Y is your pathway to better heart health through exercise. The Lawton Family YMCA offers a wide range of health and exercise classes from Boot Camp to Stepping, Spinning to Water Aerobics, Yoga and many more options.

Read the current class schedule here

But how do you know what exercise plan is safe and effective for you?

Not to worry. The local Y offers the Polar USA physical test completely free to members measuring your blood pressure, heart rate, BMI, strength, and flexibility. After your assessment, the Y will help you make a beginner workout plan.

Contact the Lawton Family YMCA Welcome Center to set an appointment with the health and wellness staff. Call 580 355-9622 or visit 5 SW 5th St in Lawton.

Download Our May-June Newsletter PDF

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Your Health

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Under Fire

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Under Fire

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic involves the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

In the ‘Fake News’ era, AHRQ is one of the good guys. The nerd’s nerds. AHRQ is the ultimate eat-your-spinach news that’s good for you, even if you don’t want to hear it or believe it. Not every medical recommendation proves to be fully correct, and we learn from practice. But it is the fact-free ideas that are zealously embraced and defended despite evidence.

Science is much more painstaking.

(One example: the argument that “vaccinations cause autism.” No, it turns out they don’t. That research was never duplicated, and the ‘science’ that initially suggested it was pure cheating by an unethical researcher. Those claims have been thoroughly debunked — partly through the independent efforts of the AHRQ.)

The AHRQ uses transparent science to scrutinize health claims without regard for the prestige or commercial influence of the source. AHRQ must remain independent of political or commercial bias to insure our health care spending actually improves the public’s health.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Once again, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality stands in the line of fire, published March 6, 2018

Posted in: Community Health Policy

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Should A Mobile Health App Be Your Next Prescription?

Should A Mobile Health App Be Your Next Prescription?

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic asks, should a mobile app be your next prescription?

“If you nibble it, scribble it.”

At Mainstreet Clinic, I have encouraged many of you to try Lose It!, a free app that makes calorie counting easier (thank you, Gale!). What’s good about this tool is — if you stick to the format — it mirrors your actual eating behaviors.

I often hear frustrated people say, “I don’t eat anything and I can’t lose a pound!” But a nutritionist said recently on a public radio conversation, “If you nibble it, scribble it.”

Lose It! helps you scribble and keep track of, specifically, every snack and every meal. Lose It! tracks the calories burned via dozens of different exercise options — thereby encouraging you to exercise. The feedback puts you in control. Weight loss inevitably follows.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Should a mobile app be your next prescription? published January 29, 2018

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Your Health

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Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

This essay from the Common Sense Family Doctor makes the case that artificial intelligence will not and cannot replace doctors. In fact, the explosion of information, and the data-crunching capacity of computers, makes the human element more vital and useful than ever. Decision making in health care draws upon medical facts, yes; but at least as much on costs, personal preferences and values.

Read Blog: Artificial Intelligence Will Not Make Family Physicians Obsolete

“As more information becomes readily available, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals will become more important as the interpreters of that information in accordance with the specific clinical and social history, values, and preferences of the patient and her or his family.” — Look It Up!: What Patients, Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists Need to Know about the Internet and Primary Health Care Kindle Edition

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Health Blog

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Bring Back House Calls

House Calls Can Save Money and Increase the Quality of Care

As Dr. Jauhar so clearly shows in this New York Times article (and I wholeheartedly agree), revival of the house call would bring enormous benefits to the health care system, and improve care for those who need this service.

One clear benefit is preventing readmission to the hospital, an increasingly common problem that costs Medicare more than $17 billion a year. On a person-to-person level, doctors seeing patients where they live brings so many vital features to life, and can improve the quality of care significantly. 

McKinney Texas initiated a house call program involving local firemen/paramedics working with a team of doctors that has proven to reduce 911 calls, ER visits and hospital admissions up to 65 percent. House call-based programs improve health care communication, timeliness and quality of care, as well as save money – an excellent example of the public’s money saved through improved access and care vs. money saved by taking away coverage from vulnerable populations, as some politicians have recommended.

Mainstreet Clinic provides house calls to those people and families for whom in-office visits are difficult, impractical, or disruptive to the patient. The price is $150/month and includes regular visits (every 8 weeks at a minimum) as well as anytime the situation dictates, for example, upon return home after a hospitalization.

Call the clinic for more details: 580-248-9966.

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Health Blog, Your Health

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The Opioid Epidemic

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic involves the opioid epidemic. 

Some of you will remember the death of OU football standout Austin Box in 2011. His drug overdose was one of more than 50,000 deaths a year in an opioid epidemic that is now near the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Common Sense Family Doctor discusses aspects of this great challenge, and the role of primary care in meeting it.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Primary care confronts the opioid epidemic, published April 7, 2017

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Health Blog

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Orthopedic Procedures to be Avoided or Questioned

Some orthopedic procedures should be avoided, or at least questioned

Common Sense Family Doctor is a regular feature on our website. Today’s topic involves orthopedic procedures. 

This essay from the Common Sense Family Doctor relates some interesting information that might provoke questions and even anger. But things we routinely did in the past (radiation for big tonsils, freezing duodenal ulcers, routine gallbladder removal for all gallstones) have fallen into disfavor based on better science.

This essay should at least call into question some procedures being recommended routinely.

Read the Common Sense Family Doctor here: Patients: steer clear of these six orthopedic procedures, published March 1, 2017

Sincerely,
Dr. Birdwell

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