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New Rules for Medicare Patients – This Week on Sound Medicine

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As of Jan. 1, Medicare patients are now eligible for a free physical exam and patients will find the Medicare “doughnut hole” (or coverage gap) is partially closed. Also starting this year, insurance companies are required to spend 80 percent of their revenue on patient care and health promotion.  Barbara Lewis will ask Indiana University health-policy wonk, Aaron Carroll, M.D., about the changes. Dr. Carroll directs the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at the IU School of Medicine.

Also new this year:  Updated guidelines for deciding if children should have their tonsils removed. The American Academy of Otolaryngology now urges doctors to take a systematic approach to recommending tonsillectomies. IU pediatrician Rachel Vreeman will explain the new strategy and the reasoning behind it to Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D. Rachel Vreeman, M.D., is assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

Type 1 diabetes, the kind that typically affects children and young adults, is usually treated with insulin injections. For severe cases of type 1 diabetes, a more extreme treatment option is a pancreas transplant, a procedure that essentially cures the disease.  Jonathan Fridell, M.D., directs pancreas transplantation at Indiana University Hospital. Dr. Fridell will explain to Sound Medicine’s Kathy Miller, M.D., what the procedure entails.

What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums?
University of Washington brain researcher John Medina, Ph.D., will consider questions like these when chatting with Dr. Miller about his new book, Brain Rules for Babies. Dr. Medina also directs the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University.

Also this week, do those “smart baby” videos really work? And learn how second-hand smoke can affect children’s mental health.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Clarian Health, IU Medical Group and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.

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