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Ketamine Infusion Insurance: App

What if you could utilize an app to inquire about Ketamine Infusions being covered by Insurance?

Innovative Express Care has come up with a way to have Ketamine treatments paid by insurance (or at least a part of it). It’s called Get Better or Better! for short, and it’s a very easy way to submit claims to your insurance. The steps are simple: Download the app, fill in your name and demographics, take a picture of your insurance card, and then get the “Superbill” from Innovative Express Care (I will give you this electronically), and boom, just like that, Better! will send your submission to your insurance. They charge 10% of your total reimbursement. If you have no reimbursement or you haven’t hit your deductible or the insurance pays you nothing, then you do not get charged.

Check it out! Our ketamine patients have had great success with this new App!

 

Rauner Has Signed a Bill Expanding Access to Medical Cannabis in Response to Opioid Epidemic

Opioid Cannabis Bill

Gaurav Dubey, MS and Rahul Khare, MD

Illinois, a state known for strict medical cannabis laws, just took a major step in easing those regulations and expanding access in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic. IL Governor, Bruce Rauner, has now signed Senate Bill 336 into law, which includes a major provision allowing patients to swap out their opioid narcotic prescriptions for medical cannabis access. Statistics from the IL Department of Health indicate almost 2,200 deaths in 2017 from opioids (up from 1,072 in 2013), with almost half being attributed to heroin (ILDPH, 2018). The expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program is the proposed solution to this crisis that is outlined in the bill.

Passing with unwavering bipartisan support across the IL house and senate floors, lawmakers desperately hope the bill will help quell the flames of the opioid endemic by dissolving prior sociopolitical and bureaucratic barriers to medical cannabis access. Additionally, it will offer a safer alternative to narcotic painkillers which are notorious for causing overdoses and deaths across the country in what is being called “the opioid alternative program”.

Currently, there are many requirements by the state to obtain a medical cannabis card, with fingerprinting and criminal background checks being one of the most restrictive and contentious regulations. However, in the new bill currently being signed into law by Gov. Rauner, this provision would go up in smoke, along with several others that make access to medical cannabis more difficult. Prospective patients applying to the traditional medical cannabis pilot program can expect lower wait times and will eventually have (estimated to start in January, 2019) immediate interim access to smaller amounts of medical cannabis (2.5g every two weeks) while their application for long term program membership processes with the state. Previously, patients had to wait 60-120 days to receive their medical cannabis cards, says the bill’s sponsor, IL democratic Sen. Don Harmon, quoted in a recent piece by the Herald Review.

Likewise, patients participating in the opioid alternative program can take qualifying forms from a physician straight to the dispensary and purchase 2.5 grams of cannabis every two weeks for up to 90 days, giving them access to the plant-based medicine for a similar length of time that they would be prescribed opioids (ILGA, 2018). Skeptics claim this is a dangerous step towards increased addiction towards cannabis and even opiates, however, the science suggests otherwise. Several recent studies have demonstrated the role of our internal endocannabinoid system in the perception of pain and the efficacy of cannabis in treating it (Lucas, 2012)(Fine & Rosenfeld, 2013)(Fanelli et al., 2017)(Corroon et al., 2017)(Haroutounian et al., 2016)(Vigil et al., 2017). Of course, the stark differences in mortality rates between cannabis and opioids are to be reckoned with by the opposition; to this day, cannabis has not been attributed to a single fatal overdose. Needless to say, the skyrocketing death tolls from opioid overdose help put the urgency for legislation like this into perspective. To read an in-depth, scientific review on how cannabis is combating the opioid epidemic, check out my article on The Medical Cannabis Community website here.

Policymakers and healthcare professionals alike hope increasing access to medical cannabis as an alternative to opioid narcotics could help mitigate the endemic here in Illinois. Legislation concerning medical cannabis in IL, as defined by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, restricts use to only those patients certified by their physician as having at least one of about 40 “debilitating medical conditions”. Currently, intractable chronic pain is not one of them. However, the new bill currently being signed into law allows for physician authorization to access to medical cannabis as an alternative to opioid painkiller prescriptions. Longitudinal and statistical analyses indeed confirm reduced opioid prescriptions, overdoses and deaths in states that have implemented successful medical cannabis programs (Bradford et al., 2018) (Vigil et al., 2017). It is likely a more expansive and streamlined program in Illinois may help reduce opioid mortality rates as well—at least that is the hope.

With elections looming in the near future, democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker leads recent polls and actively advocates for full recreational cannabis legalization. It is speculated that Rauner, a longstanding critic of cannabis, has signed Senate Bill 336 due to its political popularity among Illinois residents.  How effective this bill will be at battling the opioid epidemic here in Illinois remains to be seen. However, scientific and epidemiological data investigating cannabis for pain and cannabis programs on public health have shown to be promising.

If you are interested in getting your medical cannabis card, Innovative Express Care can help you get your card in the most efficient manner possible. We offer what nobody else offers:

  • No processing fees
  • We take insurance (most cost-effective way to get your card)
  • We guarantee our work
  • We can help you with the opioid alternative program (which will likely start in January, 2019)
  • Education on cannabis, including: THC, CBD, and terpenes
  • Continued care, even after you receive your card, to help you get the right strains

Don’t go to any other doctor’s office for your medical cannabis card. We will help with your entire process. Just fill out the form and we will call you within 2 business days. We offer patient appointments within 5 days.

Cannabis Friendly Pain Management

Due to the overwhelming requests for Innovative Express Care to do cannabis friendly pain management, we have started booking the appointments for Innovative Pain Management. We thought about how we can give the best care to our patients on chronic pain medications. We came up with a system where our patients are treated in a respectful, holistic, and simplified fashion to get the monthly pain medications.

Program Goal

• To create an open, non-judgmental, collaborative and accessible environment for patients with chronic pain

Who Qualifies

• All patients with a history of chronic pain will be evaluated by our clinicians and a treatment plan will be established

How Are We Innovative?

  • Patients will be able to get refills of their medications via telemedicine
  • We do need to see you every 3 months in the clinic, but the other refills can be done via telemedicine (from your home or work)
  • We are cannabis friendly and we encourage using cannabis to decrease opiate consumption (if you are willing
  • We have mental health therapists to help discuss other pain coping mechanisms

Rahul Khare, MD

Rahul Khare, MD is the founder of Innovative Express Care. He was an emergency physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for the last 10 years. He was Associate Professor at Northwestern University. He has opened up Innovative Express Care to change healthcare: To use technology, compassion, and empathy, to give the highest quality and affordable healthcare.

Schedule an Appointment

If you would like more information or would like to schedule an in-person appointment, please fill out the form below or call us at (773) 420-7994

Pain and Anxiety Medication Management

Tell Us About Yourself to Qualify

Flu Season: 2018

 Influenza
It’s official: flu season is here and it’s going full throttle. Here’s what you have to know about this year’s influenza virus: The efficacy of the influenza vaccine this year is poor. Actual research shows the vaccine is only 10% effective. It is interesting to note that some are saying it is due to scientists missing the main strains. Others state that it is not because scientists missed the strains (that’s the usual cause of decreased efficacy). The culprit this time is that the manufacturing technique had decreased the efficacy.
It actually does not matter. One thing we know, due to the cold weather (this makes us all stay inside and transmit the virus to each other at a high rate) along with the ineffective flu shot this year, we have a really high rate of influenza.

Bottom line: Many people are getting sick with influenza right now.

Innovative Express Care Can Help

Here at Innovative Express Care, we want to make sure that we can prepare you as much as possible for the recent outbreak of influenza. If you start coming down with the symptoms: fever, body aches, cough, and severe fatigue, come to Innovative Express Care for a quick but important visit. We will swab you for Influenza. We use the Alere i influenza A and B Rapid Flu Test. The awesome part about this is, it takes particles of your nose, amplifies the DNA giving us the highest sensitivity and specificity of any rapid test. Here’s the funny (but not so funny part): Northwestern Memorial Hospital does not even have this test (nor does Illinois Masonic). So, yes, it’s the best test for influenza in the city.

The Reason to Visit Us at Innovative Express Care

We can prescribe Tamiflu. As long as you see us within 2 days of your symptoms, we can prescribe the antiviral medication, Tamiflu, which will decrease your symptoms by up to 2 entire days (although this sounds like a minimal time period, imagine feeling better by Friday vs Sunday).
Getting a firm diagnosis is important. When you tell your employer that you had been tested and are positive for Influenza B, it gives you credibility (and sympathy). If you get Tamiflu (you can only get this via prescription), you can actually get back to work quicker!
Up to 7% of people in Chicago will get the flu this year. If you are one of them, come by and we can help you quickly!

Why You Need a Primary Care Physician

What is a primary care doctor?

Just what is a PCP, anyway? It may sound like some buzz word or a new online acronym, but it does a describe the role of a very important person: a primary care physician. A primary care physician is more than just that go-to person you see for annual checkups. He or she is your partner when it comes to managing your overall health.

Taking care of yourself

If you suffer from diabetes or another chronic condition and you don’t have a PCP, you’ve probably felt the frustration of receiving conflicting medical advice from multiple doctors. If too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth, one shudders to think what too many doctors do for your health! Regular appointments with your primary care physician can help him or her keep tabs on your health and determine whether or not you need the additional help of a specialist.

Averting a crisis

When you have a PCP, it might often seem like you spend quite a bit of time going to checkups and undergoing lab work. However, before you decide it’s time to start skipping your appointments for a jog in the park, think again. Your doctor is your greatest ally in spotting and treating any new health concerns that may crop up. Because he or she will be familiar with your history, your PCP is much less likely to rely on guesswork than a doctor who doesn’t know you.

Think about it this way: would you rather receive a serious diagnosis from your PCP, who knows you and is invested in your health, or from an overworked ER doctor who can only spare you a couple of minutes?

Spending less time in the ER and hospital – yay!

A visit to the ER usually means long waits, big bills, and, sometimes, a stay in the hospital. By utilizing the preventative care of a PCP, you can avoid all of this. A primary doctor helps you manage your health so small issues don’t become big ones.

When you need a referral

Sometimes situations arise where you need to see a specialist, such as a cardiologist or an ENT. Don’t worry; your primary care doctor has you covered. He or she probably has a large network of specialists and can refer you to whichever type you need.

Innovative Express Care offers a full range of medical care, including primary care. We’ll set you up with a doctor who will help you take charge of your health so you can live your best life.

What’s up with that stomach ache?

stomach ache

What’s up with that stomach ache?

It’s all too easy to blame that stomach ache on bad take out from last night. Or, possibly, that ominous rumbling in your stomach is the result of eating too much ice cream. Like so many of us, you might think that most stomach issues are because of eating the wrong things or getting too stressed at work.

When your stomach hurts, you feel miserable and can make everyone around you feel miserable. Keeping a few helpful things in mind will allow you to get through your abdominal pain with little fuss. You should always consider a few important things before relying completely on home remedies.

What causes this awful stomach pain, anyway?

Stomach pain and abdominal pain, unfortunately, have many causes. Likely suspects are indigestion, stomach viruses, or constipation. Women sometimes have abdominal pain at “that time of the month.” Food poisoning is also a possibility, making theories about “bad take out” more plausible. More serious causes might include gallstones, hernias, or even appendicitis.

Finding the culprit

In order to pinpoint the problem, your doctor will need to obtain your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam. Additionally, a doctor in an urgent care facility may choose to order an X-ray, some blood tests, or, depending on the location of the pain, imaging, such as an ultrasound or a CT scan.

Treatment options

If the doctor determines that your discomfort is the result of a simple case of indigestion, an over the counter medicine like milk of magnesia should clear you right up. However, if your issue is more chronic, your healthcare provider may recommend some dietary changes.

Consume food as part of several smaller meals, instead of three big meals. It is much easier for your digestive system to handle smaller portions. Also, be sure to avoid fried or spicy food, both of which can cause painful acid reflux.

Drink plenty of water to ward off dehydration. Also, limit your alcohol consumption, which not only causes further dehydration but sometimes irritates the digestive tract.

Further ways to comfort yourself

When your pain is at its worst, a heating pad might help a lot, with minimal effort on your part. Just use caution if you’re tired and might end up nodding off – you don’t want to burn yourself.

Also, find ways to reduce the stress that can further aggravate your abdominal pain. Yoga, meditation and low-intensity exercise can help.

If you experience stomach pain, don’t worry. You don’t have to suffer. Head over to Innovative Express Care, where we can help you get to the root of your pain and feeling better with our wide range of diagnostic services and treatment options.

Image Source: celticsaga

Help! I’m a hacking, coughing mess.

coughing

Hack, hack, hack. That coughing isn’t just beginning to irritate you, it’s beginning to annoy everyone around you. Of course, a cough here and there is pretty common, but there are times when your body is trying to tell you something. Think of the cough as an important instant message from your chest.

Acute or chronic?

Believe it or not, a forceful cough can push air out of your lungs at a velocity of nearly 500 mph. Try keeping that air in, and that prolonged, vigorous bout of coughing can disrupt your sleep, cause a headache, make you wet your pants, or even break a rib. On the other hand, the slightest tickle of a cough can also be a symptom of something bigger.

An acute cough – the sort that tends to show up with an infection – usually lasts as long as a few weeks. A chronic cough runs eight weeks or more in adults (four weeks or more in kids).

Common cough causes – Acute

The most common reason for an acute cough is an infection. Viral infections, like the common cold or influenza, top the list. You can usually tell when these show up, as they’re accompanied by other symptoms like fever, a runny nose and feelings of just plain lousiness.

It’s hard to miss the other infection-related cause of an acute cough: Whooping cough got its name for a pretty obvious reason. Brought on by a bacterial infection, it tends to attack kids who haven’t been immunized and adults who lost their immunities.

Irritants in the air and a strained abdominal muscle are the other common reasons for an acute cough.

Common cough causes – Chronic

Allergies, asthma and chronic bronchitis are the top reasons for a chronic cough. Gastrointestinal reflux disease often co-exists with asthma, but it can also cause coughs all on its own. Post-nasal drip, which frequently goes hand-in-hand with allergies but can also occur on its own, is the final culprit in the top five. Lots of other ailments can cause chronic cough: emphysema, heart failure, croup (in young children especially), sinusitis, cystic fibrosis, medication side effects, lung cancer and tuberculosis.

So, do you need a doc? Yes, if you’re having difficulty swallowing or breathing or have pink-tinged sputum – and you also need immediate care. Yes, if you have an acute cough along with a fever, wheezing, thick yellow-green sputum or you’re short of breath. Yes, if you have a chronic cough that just hangs on for no obvious reason.

If you have a cough, come see us at Innovative Express Care in Lincoln Park.

Innovative Express Care and Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2017Congratulations to Innovative Express Care on being the “Rockdocs” of Lollapalooza!

We are thrilled to announce that Rahul Khare, MD and John Zautke, MD have been invited to be the personal physicians to the artists of Lollapalooza. Both doctors have an extensive history of taking care of musicians and celebrities. Khare and Zautke belong to a fairly exclusive club- doctors who tend to the health needs of musical performers. From strained voices to dehydration, Innovative Express Care physicians are the doctors of the rockstars. Although we hope their services are never needed, we are happy they will be there to help the artists in need.

Let us know if you need an appointment to see them at Innovative Express Care! You can book an appointment here!

 

What do you need to know about norovirus?

norovirusNo, contrary to commonly-held beliefs, norovirus is not some computer thing that Russian hackers used to compromise the 2016 election. It’s the actual medical term for what’s usually called the stomach flu by many people. You know, the illness that is highly contagious, easily spread and especially dangerous to young people and older adults.

What is it?

Norovirus causes swelling in your stomach and the lining of your large intestine. It is the primary cause of gastroenteritis, an intestinal infection that often results in severe cramps, vomiting and fever. (If you’re looking for a band name, “Severe Cramps Vomiting and Fever” is about as good as it gets. Feel free to steal it.)

If you’ve ever had food poisoning (and who hasn’t?), chances are that it was caused by norovirus, as it is easily spread through the contamination of food.

How does it spread?

Most people contract norovirus while consuming food that contains the virus, such as undercooked shellfish or undercooked meat, or even raw fruits and vegetables. Basically every all-you-can-eat buffet you’ve ever encountered is a roll of the dice. But the virus can also spread if you touch a surface such as a picnic table that has the virus, and then touch your nose or mouth. We dare you to not think about that the next time you’re jockeying for an outdoor table at your favorite bar.

Norovirus is a persistent virus, which means it can survive high heat, and remains “live” on surfaces for several days. It’s like the cockroach of the viruses. And once you have the virus, it is very contagious and spreads by activities such as skin-to-skin contact or through sharing food and cutlery. In short, we should all live in bubbles, our bodies coated in hand-sanitizer, never coming in contact with another human.

What are some common symptoms

Norovirus symptoms often appear within two days of exposure, and they are ridiculously unpleasant—diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and severe stomach cramps. You may also develop a fever and experience headaches and body aches, similar to how you feel when you have the flu.

How is it treated?

You’ll probably hate this, but there is no magic pill you can take to get rid of norovirus, because it is not a bacterial infection—antibiotics are useless against it. Our norovirus treatment plan is for you to drink a ton of liquid. Why? Because those nasty symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting rob your body of water and can quickly lead to dehydration.

So the treatment is simple: plenty of fluids and rest and pretty much toughing it out unless the dehydration gets severe, in which case you should call us right away.

Prevention

The best prevention against norovirus is hygiene, so:


  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you eat, prepare food and after using the bathroom.
  • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before you eat them.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you eat, prepare food and after using the bathroom.
  • Cook shellfish properly using a thermometer.
  • Did we mention washing your hands with soap and water before you eat, prepare food and after using the bathroom?

Innovative Express Care all about getting you well when you are not 100 percent, and we offer urgent care and primary care with almost no wait times. We are fast, friendly and affordable and you can even book your appointment online!

Image Source: James Palinsad

Is it a sprain or a break?

Sprain

Is it a sprain or a break?

One minute you’re walking along thinking you’re looking real good in those stiletto booties and the next you’re on the ground, both your ego and your ankle bruised and in pain.

The question you ask yourself—after you wonder if anyone just saw you bust your ass in broad daylight—is likely, “Is it broken or just sprained?”

In either case, after you’ve grumbled about your clumsiness and possibly shed a tear about your now-scuffed suede boots, you’ll still want to seek treatment. But knowing the differences between the two will help you know what to expect. Prompt attention will help get you back on track, no matter which of these issues you are facing.

What are signs of a sprain?

Many people who suspect a break because of pain actually have a sprain. One of the most common symptoms of a sprain is pain in the soft tissue area, but not the bone. You might still be able to walk easily enough, but pain or weakness often occurs when there is ligament damage. Having an injured ankle checked out is always a good precautionary measure—and you’ll probably sleep a lot better at night.

What are signs of a break?

If most of the pain in your injured ankle is over the bone, this might be a sign that you’ve fractured it. Further confirmation comes when you discover it’s hard to bear weight on it and you’re cursing the siren song of those buttery-soft boots. The longer you put off getting some type of treatment after injuring your ankle, the more likely you are to sustain lasting damage or develop arthritis.

How do these injuries happen?

Although you can fracture an ankle during a fall, twisting your leg in the wrong direction can also cause a break. Sprains are also common when you twist your ankle after stepping in something or taking a spill on an icy sidewalk. In many cases, you might not realize how badly you’ve injured your ankle until the swelling starts, which can happen with both a sprain and a break.

How are sprains and breaks treated?

Imaging scans such as X-rays can diagnose whether your injury is a sprain or fracture. Both injuries can often be stabilized and treated non-invasively, which means no surgery. A splint or boot (no, not Louboutin) may be used to immobilize the ankle in either case. If the injury is severe enough, you may need to use crutches to take the weight off the affected foot. You’ll also relegate your high-heels to the back of the closet for a while.

What should you do if you have a sprain or break?

Contact us for an appointment at Innovative Express Care. Don’t hobble around in pain insisting you’ll be fine, get it checked out and we’ll quickly help you get started on the road to recovery.