Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Great Podiatrist

I recently met a great podiatrist in Naples.  Her name is Dr. Brook Austin, and she is with Gulfcoast Foot and Ankle Center (239) 566-8800.  She understands my quest to find fabulous shoes that are actually orthopedically good for you.  She has an entire blog dedicated to the subject.  Check it out at www.drfashionistafootwear.com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome to Carter Chiropractic and Wellness!

We are thrilled that you chose Carter Chiropractic and Wellness to provide your Chiropractic Care. Chiropractic offers a great, conservative, alternative, and cost-effective approach to your health care. Our goal at Carter Chiropractic and Wellness is (CCW) is to provide you with the best Chiropractic Care we possibly can. We want you to have a great experience so you can confidently refer us your friends, family and co-workers.

Here is what you can expect when you become a patient at Carter Chiropractic & Wellness:

1st Visit: Every new patient will have an examination. Depending on the outcome of the exam, the patient may be sent for X-rays. Some exceptions are:

The patient is currently under the care of an out of state Chiropractic Physician and Dr. Carter can communicate with the Chiropractic Physician.

The patient can provide X-rays, MRIs, or reports that are less than a year old and related to their complaint.

Please note that diagnostic studies such as X-rays or MRIs are ordered for diagnostic purposes and your safety. We currently send our patients to Naples Diagnostic Imaging Center (NDIC), which is one block West of CCW. NDIC will burn a copy of the X-ray or study on a disc on a CD and the patient can bring the X-ray to the office the same day if they want treatment or the next visit. Most X-rays take about an hour and are covered by insurance. If the patient does not have insurance, NDIC offers competitive rates and discounts if you pay the same day of the service.

We are able to begin treatment in most cases before the X-ray is taken, but it will be low key , including gentle therapies to help start to reduce pain and inflammation.

2nd Visit: You can expect a Report of Findings. This means that the doctor will give you an accurate, and detailed explanation of her findings. This includes a plan of treatment and the time it should take for you to start feeling better. Treatment goals and plans vary due to the condition, severity of the complaint, and the individual. A financial report of findings will also be discussed on the second visit if needed. Carter Chiropractic & Wellness will do their best to give you an explanation of your benefits and the estimated out-of-pocket expense you will incur.

Non-Insured Patients: We understand that health and wellness is at the top of every one's priority list. This is why we participate in a network called ChiroHealthUSA, which offers discounts on our rates for those whose care is not covered by insurance. Please visit http://www.chirohealthusa.com/ for more information.

Insured Patients: For your convenience, we will bill and receive payment from your insurance company. Many insurance companies will cover a portion of your Chiropractic Care. However, the process can be confusing because the rules and policies of insurance change on an almost daily basis. We will do our best to keep you informed and up to date with your specific situation.

Some concepts of insurance to keep in mind are:

Deductibles: Most insurance plans have a deductible, which is the amount of money you are responsible for per year before an insurance company will cover any of your health care costs. Most deductibles start at the beginning of the year, and the average deductible we encounter is approximately $1000. This means if you visit our office or any other doctor's office or hospital and they bill (let's say) $200. The insurance company will "allow" a certain amount of that $200. (The amount "allowed" is a set number per procedure per geographical region that insurance companies pay a specific type of physician). For example, the insurance company may allow $100 of the $200 billed, which you are typically responsible for paying the treating doctor's office on the same day of treatment. This $100 will go towards your deductible, and you will have $900 to pay on your deductible for the rest of the calendar year. When you have satisfied your deductible, you will only be required to pay your co-pay and co-insurance for the rest of the calendar year.

Co-Pays: This is an established amount that you and your insurance company have worked out. We see co-pays that range from $5 to $65 to date. You will be responsible for the amount of your co-pay at the time of your treatment. Your co-pay is often listed on your insurance card.

Co-Insurance: This is the percentage of the allowed amount that insurance companies will cover. For example, you have met your deductible and we billed $200 for a visit. The insurance company allows $100, your co-insurance is 80%, and your co-pay is $10. The insurance company will pay us $80 and you will owe us $20. Some good news is that the co-pay is sometimes included in the c0-insurance. So, of the $20 that you owe us, you have already paid $10, and you will owe us a remainder of $10 for the remainder of the visit. (We are using the amount of $100 because it is easier to understand as insurance companies typically allow less than $100 for a standard visit.)

In-Network Physicians: Your insurance company will typically provide better coverage if you visit a doctor who is In-Network. Please visit http:www.drsusancarter.com/html/insurance.html to see if Dr. Carter is In-Network with your insurance plan. Some common insurances Dr. Carter is In-Network with are: Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medicare, United Health Care, Cigna, Great West, Humana, Golden Rule, Principle Life, Meritain, First Health Network, GHI New York, Collier County Insurances, Beechstreet, NCH Healthcare System, Marriott, Aetna, Multiplan, etc.

Out-of-Network Physicians: Insurances we are Out-of-Network with work the same way as in-network insurances. You still have an amount that is allowed, a deductible, a co-pay, co-insurance and we still bill the insurances for you. Many of the insurances that we are Out-of-Network with have a service called Multiplan. Look for the Multiplan symbol on your card as Multiplan will negotiate better rates for you if you want us to provide your Chiropractic Care. Out-of-network insurances still provide great coverage in most cases.

Medicare: Pays only for the adjustment. Medicare does not pay for the exam by Dr. Carter, which is required for every patient to diagnose and create a treatment plan. If needed, Dr. Carter will use other therapies to get you out of pain and back to maximum health in the shortest amount of time. The cost of these therapies are your responsibility, and in most cases, if you join ChiroHealthUSA, are $40 per visit. Supplemental policies or secondary insurances, such as AARP, are also common with Medicare and we do accept them. Secondary insurances typically cover what Medicare does not pay. For example, you get an adjustment. We bill Medicare $70 for the adjustment. Medicare "allows" $35 and pays 80% co-insurance of the allowed amount, which is $28. If you have a secondary policy, they will cover the $7 that Medicare did not cover.

What we ask for: Follow directions. We will explain and even email you specific directions for your treatment plan which can include exercise, diet, physical limitations, ice or heat in a given area. How well you do with your "homework" will also affect your short and long term results.

General Instructions: We strive to be a paperless office and we have electronic medical records. Please bring glasses to see the computer screen if you need them. We have readers available if you need them. Please wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing. Please park in the back of the building. On Saturdays, the bank keeps the doors locked and we will have to buzz you in. Please look up Carter Chiropract in the call box and call to let us know you are here.

Communication: We are big fans of email. We will send you appointment reminders by email, and we are happy to answer any questions you have by email. Of course, please feel free to call us at any time and we will call or text you appointment reminders if you do not use your email. If you would like some help setting us a free email account accessible from any computer, please let us know.

Scheduling: Our hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 8:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. We typically break for lunch from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. Wednesday afternoons are by appointment only. Our office number is our personal cell phone number and you can always get in touch with us. We will do our best to get you a same day appointment if needed. We ask that you do call or email if you are running late or if you cannot make your appointment.

You are likely to be sore (not in pain) after an adjustment, especially after your first adjustment. Ice the area (20 minutes on/40 minutes off) and drink plenty of water to help relieve the discomfort. This will go away after a couple of adjustments. Getting adjustments is like starting a workout plan for the first time in awhile. You are likely to be sore until we can get your joints in shape and help you start on the journey to feeling the best that you have in years.

You will not need to see a chiropractor every day for the rest of your life! At Carter Chiropractic & Wellness, we practice outcome based care. We will refer out for further testing and opinions if you have not shown any improvement in two weeks. Once your initial complaints are improving, your treatment plan will decrease. While we believe and and recommend maintenance care once a month, your health care is always your decision.

Feedback: We want you to have a great experience with our office, and we know that Chiropractic Care is a different experience than traditional medical care. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to bring them up. Please keep in mind that earning your trust and introducing you to Chiropractic Care is what we have dedicated our lives to and WE WANT YOU TO FEEL GREAT!

Thank you and please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

National Health Care Reform

Hope this blog finds everyone doing great! I have a favor to ask of you. Can you go to http://www.chirovoice.org/signup/signup_form.cfm and sign up? Chirovoice has been set up like a petition to show that there are millions of chiropractic patients that want Chiropractic Care to be a priority in the National HealthCare reform. Your support will help make sure that Chiropractic is still a covered benefit for insurances. Hopefully change will allow insurance coverage of even more services that we are able to provide for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or send an email.
Thanks so much!

Dr. Susan Carter

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wii Injuries

As the spring holiday season comes into focus, lots of families are spending time together at parties and gatherings. One activity that has become increasing popular as of late is playing games on the Nintendo Wii. Wii is really fun because it is indoors, requires less physical exertion, and does not require buying or finding the proper equipment to play a particular sport. You just use the controller (as the particular equipment) that the Wii comes with to play sports like bowling, tennis, baseball, golf, and many more.

As competition increases trying to beat your family members, it is easy to get carried away and hurt yourself. I have done this myself, and so have many of my new patients. I have seen a lot of injuries lately from playing Wii. My sister suggested I rename my practice to Carter Chiropractic and Wiihab (instead of rehab:)). People have injured their necks, shoulders, elbow, mid and low backs in the throws of competition.

In order to avoid injury, here are a couple of tips....When you play a new sport, you are going to use muscles that you do not normally exert. This will make them sore. Make sure to warm up before you play with some light cardiovascular activity and some stretching. ONLY play one or two games, and then wait a day or two before playing again. Then, depending on how sore you are, play two or three games. Build up SLOWLY the amount of games you play and the effort you use to play.

If you feel you are straining yourself at all when you are playing, then STOP. If you know that you "overdid it", put ice on the injured area and give my office a call. Make sure to stay out of the hot tub. That will usually make you worse.

To get in contact with my office, please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Activator Technique and Osteoporosis

A great technique used to adjust patients that have low bone density or osteoporosis is the Activator Technique. The Activator is a tool that delivers a light, specific force to the vertebrae in your low back that are mis-aligned.

It is gentle, safe if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, and effective in restoring proper function to the nerves. Pain and stiffness in your joints will decrease over a series of adjustments. For more information about the Activator Technique, please visit http://www.activator.com/.

Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Intersegmental Traction

Intersegmental Traction is a therapy that is offered at Carter Chiropractic and Wellness. Intersegmental traction mobilizes and stretches each individual joint in the spine. This helps increase your range of motion and relax your muscles. Intersegmental traction also helps with misalignments, fixations, restrictions, and/or subluxations in your spine.
Intersegmental traction is a very popular treatment modality. Nicknamed the roller table, all the patient has to do is lay on the table facing up. A large, smooth roller will slowly and gently travel up and down the spine. It is a very comfortable and relaxing treatment, especially if you are having neck, mid, and/or low back pain and stiffness in your joints.

Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for location and contact information for Carter Chiropractic and Wellness.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Heavy Purses Can Cause Back Pain

Large purses look great and are very popular, but carrying a heavy purse can lead to misalignments in your neck, mid back, and low back that could cause pain, soreness, stiffness and chronic problems. A good rule of thumb is that purses or brief cases should not be more than 5 % of your body weight. This means that a 100 pound women should be carrying a purse that weighs less than 5 pounds, and a 200 pound man should be carrying a brief case that weighs less than 10 pounds.

Put your purse on your shoulder and take a look in the mirror. Does one shoulder look higher than the other? If it does, imagine standing in a line for 20 minutes with your purse on your shoulder. I hope you agree that this is going to put some stress on your muscles and spine.

Please visit http://www.drsusancarter.com/ for more information on Dr. Susan Carter and Carter Chiropractic and Wellness.