Today marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. New Year’s is a time of reflection; and, in the past, a time for taking inventory of my life.  Up until 2019, I was a practicing physician and taking inventory was a daunting task.  Since retirement and the devastation caused by of Parkinson’s Disease, my life’s inventory has shortened considerably.

Sleep, eat, nap, pee, and repeat are the activities that define my life nicely.  After years of giving weigh loss counseling to my patients, I’m a massive 250 pounds.  Having counseled the elderly on the risk of driving, I no longer drive (yet I still hassle Renee about it).  My wife is afraid to leave me alone for fearing an inevitable fall.  One thing I hit perfectly on the nose is my description of home health care: there are bad and worse agencies and aides with few exceptions.  I could go on forever but, so as not to depress my readers, I’ll quit here.

I have to be careful as when my writing gets too dark, it has a negative effect on my readers. Having completed my physical inventory, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is not much of me left.  So, where did I go wrong? I gave good solid advice to my patients.  One of my patients took my Wellthy Plan to heart and came in yearly with his inventories and game plan for the new year.  He did exceptionally well.  I, on the other hand, worked 24/7, ignoring my own advice and am paying for it now.

So, don’t do as I did!  Do as I advised in Diets and Other Unnatural Acts.  Yes, the book was a monumental failure with few exceptions.  The ideas and general advice are solid; unfortunately, it was too simple and therefore not taken seriously.  Exercise and diet may delay Parkinson’s significantly.  Taking time on a regular basis to enjoy life, family and friends is essential.  You never know what tomorrow holds, so don’t put happiness off until you reach your financial goals (or your childrens’).  As for spirituality in your life, believe me, the more you invest in it when you’re well, the easier it will be to fight off depression when you are sick.

Diets and Other Unnatural Acts is free on Kindle and still available in print at Amazon.

Here’s your joke for the day:

An elderly couple, who were both widowed, had been going out with each other for a long time. Urged on by their friends, they decided it was finally time to get married. Before the wedding, they went out to dinner and had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work. They discussed finances, living arrangements, and so on.

Finally, the old gentleman decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship.

“How do you feel about sex?” he asked, rather tentatively.

“I would like it infrequently,” she replied.

The old fellow sat quietly for a moment, leaned over towards her and whispered – “Is that one word, or two?”


A recent article on KEVINMD.COM entitled, “Keep your medical insurance, but pay the doctor with cash,” was of particular interest to me.  My practice was unique in that I ran a Concierge practice side by side with a typical fee for service practice.  Comparing the two practices is easy.

The Concierge practice was fun.  If I needed a test or procedure, I could order it without many hassles.  Concierge patients bought their freedom by paying cash and appreciated the care they received. 

Fee for service/insured patients relied on their insurance company and gave up their freedom, trading it for a copay.  Their care carried more overhead than the Concierge patients and they really didn’t appreciate how much back office work it took just to get them an x-ray.

You may not know it, but your doctor’s office is forced into taking insurance products and putting up with the insurers’ discounts.  Did you ever stop to think that your doctor is your banker, carrying your debt until the insurance company pays him/her?  Did you realize that your $10-$40 copay represented the majority of your family doc’s paycheck?  I bet you didn’t know that it cost me money every time I sent you a bill.

Giving a discount for cash paying patients makes sense.  The only drawback is a theoretical one.  Medicare and your insurance company could look at your doctors’ discounted fee as his/her real fee and claim that your doc over charged them.  Medicare could then claim that your bills were fraudulent and file criminal charges against your doc.  Sound insane? It is!

Insane rules created by your insurer and government guaranteed that your doc and their patients had little recourse when it came to arguing over billing and the cost of medicine.  While I was in private practice, I fought to keep cost down and to get my patients the referrals they needed.  I wonder who is going to fight for your rights in the corporate world of medicine that exists today.

By the way, “pay the doctor with cash” does not mean hand your doc a credit card.  Credits cards charge your doc a percentage of the amount charged.  For those of you old enough to remember cash, there is no charge for the use of cash.  Every little bit counts.

Here’s a true story to think about.  I was standing in the check-out line at the Vet’s office.  The man in front of me was told his dog’s bill was $245 and included the doc’s time and lab work.  His dog had a urinary tract infection.   The man paid his bill.  He did not complain, he did not tell the office to bill his insurance.  In my office, the bill for a UTI would have been $200.  I would have gotten a $20 co-pay, billed insurance, and written off the insurers discount; collecting a grand payment of $100.  Many of my patients would have griped about the co-pay despite the savings. 

If you like your doc, pay your doc!  Use your insurance for big ticket items.

Here is today’s joke:

A bank robber gets hold of the cash he needs but before fleeing the scene he demands the regular customers stand in a line

The bank robber ask the first guy in line: “did you see what happened here?”

First guy: “I sure did! And I’m gonna tell the police exactly what happened and what you look lik…”

The bank robber shoots him in the head and ask the next in line the same question.

Second guy: “I assure you I did not see a thing… but my wife did”

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