Ostrander to offer acupuncture
Dr. Jeremy Ostrander, St. Mary’s Hospital family practice physician, will be offering acupuncture treatments at their clinics located in Kamiah and Cottonwood. He recently participated in a six month training program from the Academy of Pain Research based in San Francisco. Their teaching format was established in 1979 as the first comprehensive acupuncture training course for physicians in North America.
Acupuncture is the technique of inserting and manipulating fine needles into specific points on the body for pain relief and for therapeutic purposes. Because the disposable stainless steel needles are not used for injections they can be solid and thinner causing minimal or no pain during insertion.
Some scientists believe that acupuncture was first practiced in China over 5,000 years ago. Different types of acupuncture including Classical Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Korean styles are practiced and taught throughout the world. The size and type of needle used and the depth of insertion depend on the acupuncture style being practiced.
“Acupuncture has been shown to benefit a number of medical problems, most notably painful conditions. Because so many people are seeking medical treatment other than traditional medicine, I think acupuncture is a great service to offer,” said Dr. Ostrander.
Acupuncture is often considered a complementary therapy used in conjunction with typical Western medicine for certain conditions. The World Health Organization developed a list of acupuncture indications which includes acute and chronic pain control, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical and lumbar spine syndromes, frozen shoulder, migraine and tension type headaches and plantar faschitis.
“Obviously, not everyone is a candidate for acupuncture and it is not used for all types of conditions, but after having a qualified medical professional produce a proper diagnosis there are certainly times when acupuncture can be used effectively as part of a treatment program,” said Dr. Ostrander. “I am sometimes frustrated by the number of problems I see that medicines do not seem to help. Acupuncture is something else I can offer patients.”
In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a consensus statement on acupuncture that concluded that “…there is sufficient evidence of acupuncture's value to expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value…”
According to Theresa Uptmor, SMHC Business Services Manager, many insurance companies do not cover the cost of acupuncture. “Medicare and Medicaid do not cover acupuncture. Patients who rely on private insurance to pay their medical expenses should first check with their insurer about their policy and coverage,” said Uptmor. “We will be asking patients to pay at the time of their visit then we’ll bill insurance companies and reimburse the patient if we receive compensation. We certainly will also accept self pay patients willing to assume the cost of the acupuncture treatment.”
Appointments with Dr. Ostrander can be made at the Cottonwood Clinic, 962-3267 or the Kamiah Medical Clinic, 935-2585.
Hospitals scheduling module to 'Go Live'
For the past two years, Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics have been transitioning to a new software system to provide better service. The Meditech modules have been implemented over time with the patient scheduling module scheduled to ‘go live’ on Tuesday, September 9th. The module will be implemented in the SMH medical and physical therapy clinics in Cottonwood, Kamiah, Nezperce, Craigmont and Grangeville.
The scheduling module will allow appointments to be made three to six months in advance and ease the clinic scheduling process. It also allows for scheduling of procedure rooms and other ancillary services.
“We’ve been designing and testing the new system to avoid possible problems once we go live. However, it may take just a bit longer for patients to schedule their appointment during that first week. We appreciate everyone’s patience during the process,” said Shari Kuther, SMH Clinics Nursing Coordinator. “I think our patients will really appreciate the increased flexibility this system will provide.”
The modules that have been initiated include the billing module, order entry, transcription, lab and pharmacy. Eventually, various software modules will work together to create electronic medical records. “Having EMRs for our patients will better serve them in many ways,” said Kuther. “They can be electronically sent from one clinic to another or between our providers.”