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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.

Ultimate Music Festival Survival Guide

People buy tickets to Chicago’s internationally recognized music festivals months in advance, but many people forget to plan for their health. This is the ultimate musical festival guide! Residents of the “Windy City” are lucky to host music festivals, like Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and the Spring Awakening, which offer a variety of music, including alternative, folk, blues, hip hop, electronic, and more. The events attract thousands of people from around the world each year and they give residents and visitors the opportunity to come together and experience great music.

Chicago’s many great music festivals are definitely something to be excited about, but not planning for your heath when you will be in crowded places, dancing and drinking in the sun for days, is not a good idea. Medical professionals must treat hundreds of festival-goers each year, and the effects of music, alcohol, drugs, late nights, unprotected sex, and sun exposure require thousands more people to seek treatment from their primary care physicians once the festivals are done.

Don’t ruin your summer festival season by not taking care of yourself. We made this guide to help you plan for your health before, during, and after any of Chicago’s great music festivals.

Prepare

Check the weather before you head out. Proper preparation can protect you from everything from weather-related discomfort to life-threatening injury. Important items to bring with you include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Clean clothes
  • Ibuprofen
  • Electrolyte drink (1 per day)
  • A personal first aid kit, including bandages in various sizes and shapes, gauze, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, and sting relief
  • Earplugs
  • Any medications you take regularly
  • Water
  • Face wipes
  • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
  • Condoms
  • Sunglasses

During cold or rainy weather, add:

  • Rain jacket/poncho
  • Blankets
  • Hand warmers
  • Jackets
  • Comfortable closed-toed shoes

In the days leading up to the event, drink plenty of water, and eat a well-balanced diet. This will help your body get plenty of essential nutrients to help you feel great while you party the night away.

Also, be sure to get plenty of rest in the weeks before your epic music festival experience. Heat, long days drinking in the sun, and late nights partying can wear you down. You do not want to burn out in the middle of the festival. Extra rest will energize you and help you make the most out of the experience.

Pack items like condoms even if you don’t think you will need them. You just never know if you will meet someone special, and you don’t want your romantic experience to end in a trip to the doctor. Likewise, you should pack and use sunscreen even if the weather is dreary. People still experience sunburns during overcast weather because the sun reflects off the clouds.

Preparing for your festival and packing essential health items will help you have the most fun possible.

Additionally, should any of this preparation fail to protect you, it is important for you take note of where you can seek medical attention.

Maintain

Drink an electrolyte drink and plenty of water each day during the festival, especially if you are dancing and/or walking around for extended periods of time. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems. Do not mix alcohol and drugs, as doing so can lead to potentially fatal reactions within your body.

Use baby wipes or antibacterial wipes to keep yourself clean during the event. Music festivals are fun, but long days in the sun and limited resources for festival goers can lead to fungal infections like jock itch and athlete’s foot. Being mindful of your hygiene and wearing clean dry socks and underwear is essential to your health.

Wear shoes in which you can walk long distances comfortably. Address small injuries like blisters, sun burns and/or small cuts as soon as possible. This will prevent small injuries from becoming worse and threatening the longevity of your music festival experience.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and again every 2 hours. This will help prevent burns and diminish the likelihood of sun poisoning. If necessary, set alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to reapply. If you get a sunburn on the first or second day treat yourself with the following:

  • Take ibuprofen
  • Drink extra water
  • Apply aloe or sunburn care treatment
  • Take a cool shower (not cold)
  • Avoid further exposure to the sun by covering burns and wearing sunscreen

Rainy/wet weather

Rainy weather also carries its own set of challenges. Use ponchos or rain coats to keep your clothes dry. Keep your feet dry and warm with good socks and closed-toe shoes. And even if you can’t see the sun, continue using sunscreen. According to the Center for Disease Control, you can get a sunburn, “even on cloudy days.”

Post-festival care

After the festivities, you will have amazing memories of good times with old and new friends, but you may also be questioning your judgement if you did not plan for your health. Recovering from the marathon of music, dancing, alcohol, potential drug use, walking, and socializing, may take some time. The following tips may help you recover faster.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and drink lots of water. Dehydration makes recovery more difficult and lowers your body’s immune system, which can cause serious health concerns in the days following a festival.

If you have a sunburn take ibuprofen and use topical sunburn relief with aloe to help the healing process. If the sunburn starts to make you feel sick, consult a doctor as soon as possible, as this may be a sign of sun poisoning.

Some additional post-festival health issues you should look out for include:

  • UTIs
  • STDs
  • Exhaustion
  • Cold / Flu

If your festival experience leaves you needing medical attention, the friendly professional staff at Innovative Express Care in Lincoln Park, can help. With the highest urgent care provider review rating in the Chicagoland area and helpful features like free parking, telemedicine (video conferencing), online booking, and accessible online medical records, we are here for your urgent care needs. Walk-ins are welcome and wait times average less than 15 minutes. We hope you enjoy your event and if you need medical assistance, come experience “healthcare evolved” at Innovative Express Care.

 

Image Source: m.gin

Medical Cannabis 101

Medical Cannabis

Dr. Khare will be one of the major speakers at Chicago Reader’s Medical Cannabis 101 presentation. Tickets are available below!

April 9, 2018 | 6:30-8:30pm (doors open at 5:45pm)
mHub | 965 W. Chicago Avenue (map)
$20 (light appetizers and beverages will be provided)

Want to better understand the science behind medical cannabis? Wondering if you or someone you know could benefit from treatments? Interested in learning how the Illinois legislature approves new conditions for the program? State Senator Don Harmon, industry experts, physicians, patients and a pharmacist will discuss the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program and share anecdotal evidence of its successes and challenges.

Discussion Topics

  • Testimonials: Success and Challenges of Treatments
  • The science behind the treatments
  • Qualifying conditions and legislative options
  • Overview of IL Medical Cannabis Program
  • Highlights of Pending Medical Cannabis Legislation

 

What is Urgent Care?

What is Urgent Care?

Urgent care is where you go when you have a non-life threatening illness or injury that you can’t fix at home, and you want fast treatment. You don’t want to sit in that germ-filled emergency room for hours and then get depersonalized care. You might go because your regular doctor is off on a fishing trip or tied up in court.

Urgent care treats people of all ages with all sorts of conditions, both acute and chronic. If the problem is severe, you may be referred to the emergency room or a hospital. But in most cases, urgent care is convenient, efficient, and cheaper than other alternatives.

What Gets Treated

Here is a partial list of conditions appropriate for urgent care:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Pink eye
  • Sore throats
  • Head injury from stepping on a rake
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Colds, upper respiratory infections
  • Nosebleeds
  • Diarrhea
  • Burns
  • Injuries from fire ant attacks
  • Asthma
  • Heartburn
  • Diaper rash

And what doesn’t get treated

Here is a partial list of conditions which should send someone to the emergency room in an ambulance (call 911):

  • Heart attack symptoms – chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain in left arm, and more
  • Stroke symptoms – Weakness on one side of face and/or body, difficulty speaking. Face droops on on side, dizziness, confusion, and more
  • Severe allergic reaction – trouble breathing, swollen tongue, hives, vomiting, wheezing, and more
  • Severe injuries with profuse bleeding, loss of consciousness, fractures, anything that appears life-threatening

More pluses for going to urgent care

Many people like to receive all of their medical care in one place. They want convenience, quick service, high-tech communications, reasonable prices, extended hours, and as many services as possible all together. People would love to have medications, x-rays, lab services, walk-in treatment, convenient appointments, and state-of-the-art everything at their disposal.

They would also like to bring their children and grandmas and grandpas in for acute and chronic care. An urgent care team has a broad range of knowledge in many fields and will refer you to a specialist if needed.

The best of urgent care can be found in the Chicago area

You don’t need an appointment and the wait time is never more than 30 minutes. And you can schedule a visit online or by fax or phone. If you can’t make it in person or you can’t drag yourself away from the soaps, you can use our telemedicine service. And yes, IEC has a well-stocked pharmacy, a lab, X-ray machines, and state-of-the-art everything.

 

Image Source: Sonny Abesamis 

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

Innovative Express Care Now Takes Advocate HMO BCBS!

Are you looking for a doctor in your Advocate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois HMO Network? Innovative Express Care, aka Innovative Platinum Care, is a brand new provider in the network. We are excited to start taking this new insurance. If you have Advocate HMO on your Blue Cross Blue Shield card, then we take your insurance.

Innovative Express Care is not your normal doctor’s office. We pride ourselves in using technology to the fullest. For example, if you need a medication refill, but still need to see the physician, you can book an appointment to see our provider via telemedicine. Yes, you do not even have to leave work to see the doctor. Also, if you want to make an appointment with us, all you have to do is go to our web page, and click “Book Appointment” and find all the available slots open.

We offer many different services. You can even book online:

Primary Care
Urgent Care
Telemedicine
Mental Health Therapy

If you want a fresh start on your health care, please check out our website and make an appointment.

Any of these Advocate Insurances
Blue Cross HMO Illinois
Blue Advantage HMO
Blue Cross Medicare Advantage HNO- POS
Blue Cross Advocate HMO
Blue Precision HMO
Blue Precision HMO
Blue Precision Silver HMO
Blue Cross Advocate Employee PPO
And Many other insurances

Choosing a Primary Care Physician

When picking a primary care physician, you want the highest possible level of care. You rely on your PCP for accurate diagnoses and effective treatments. Additionally, with an increase in technology-based medicine, many patients now demand an added layer transparency from their health care providers.

There are many factors to consider when trying to find the right primary care physician. Too often, patients rely on just one or two factors, such as price or location, when selecting a PCP. While those factors may be important, you should also consider your own health status (perhaps you have a chronic disease), as well as the primary care physician’s track record and areas of expertise.

What to Look for in a Primary Care Physician

With a few exceptions, PCPs generally practice family medicine, internal medicine, or general medicine. While conducting your search, be sure to check if your potential doctor holds any additional licenses or specialties. Patients can find out about a physician’s credentials through the American Medical Association, state licensing boards, and by researching the types of continuing education courses the physician has completed in the past few years.

Some physicians may have more experience in treating certain conditions than others. If you suffer from a chronic disease, you may want to know how a doctor has fared with patients like you in the past. While you can’t get this kind of information from confidential medical records, you can read online patient reviews or set up a preliminary consultation with the physician in question.

Gaining Insight on a Primary Care Physician

In a recent Gallup healthcare survey, more than half of respondents indicated that a physician’s history of medical mistakes and experience in a specific area of medicine, influenced their decision more than anything else. In the past, patients tended to focus more on the location, age, sex, and demeanor of a physician. Now, consumers are more concerned about level of care, transparency, and a physician’s philosophy on integrating complementary therapies to more effectively treat a condition.

Additionally, more and more patients demand less testing (unless absolutely necessary), accurate diagnoses, and treatment methods that not only heal but also keep medical costs as low as possible. The specialists at Innovative Express Care take pride in using the most innovative technology to provide effective, transparent, and affordable care to their patients.

If you’re in the market for a primary care physician, schedule an appointment today!

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.

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!