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Roger Spingarn, MD continues his long-standing fundraising effort to support cancer research and patient care by riding his bicycle 190 miles from Sturbridge to Provincetown, during the first weekend of August, in the Pan-Mass Challenge.
We discourage our patients from using Urgent Care Centers or Walk-in clinics without calling us first. While it is true that these centers can be helpful at times, our experience has frequently been that diagnoses are missed, ailments are mistreated with inappropriate medications or dosing, and referrals to emergency rooms and specialists are increased. These centers are typically staffed by physicians or nurse practitioners who are not broadly trained in pediatrics. One of us, or our coverage group, is available 24/7 to help guide you when you, or your child or teenager, has an urgent pediatric medical issue.
For the 2016-17 season, we will not be offering or recommending the nasal spray version of the influenza vaccine. Recent data has shown that during the past few influenza seasons the nasal spray vaccine did not perform as well as anticipated. We continue to strongly recommend vaccination against influenza for our patients aged 6 months and older, and will administer the injectable form of the vaccine. As we do each year, flu vaccine will be available during evening clinics, by appointment, in the fall. Dates for those clinics will be posted here. If it is more convenient to have your child(ren) vaccinated during office hours, an appointment with our nursing staff is also an option.
To Our Patients,
Re: Your prescribed medications
It is evident that insurance companies, instead of charging higher co-payments for brandname medications, are often no longer covering them at all. That is, if you want a brandname medication, you will have to pay for the medication entirely.
In MOST instances, generic medications are perfectly acceptable alternatives to brand names. However, in some cases, most notably certain thyroid medications, a few cardiac medications, and some medications for ADHD, we do not feel that the generic substitutions are acceptable alternatives to the brand-name medications.
If you have questions about your prescriptions, and substitutions made by your insurer, please discuss them with us. As with all our medical recommendations, we will endeavor to be cost-effective. However, we will not sacrifice the safety of our patients to accommodate the financial deals that insurance companies make with pharmaceutical companies.
If you are as displeased with this as we are, we encourage you to voice your concerns to your health insurer, your employer, and your elected representatives.
Jonathan A. Benjamin, M.D.
Roger W. Spingarn, M.D.
Elissa B. Rottenberg, M.D.
In 2013, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) changed the physical examination requirement for student-athletes to adhere to the Department of Public Health’s policy. In order to be compliant with State regulations, physical exams will be required every 13 months-to-the-day of the previous exam.
For example if a student-athlete had a physical exam dated October 10, 2014, that exam will expire on November 10, 2015. This means that as of November 11, 2015 the student-athlete becomes ineligible to practice or compete until he or she presents proof of a current physical exam to the school nurse or athletic department.
This is a change from the current requirement, which enabled a student-athlete to remain eligible for the entire season if his or her physical was current on the first day of practice.
We, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, believe strongly that continuity of care is important. We believe that annual examinations should be performed by a clinician who knows your child. The relationship we form with your child is important in promoting and insuring optimal health for him or her.
Please make certain that your child has a current physical exam that will last the duration of the season, or schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible to have an updated physical exam. Schools will make no exceptions to this rule, nor will there be extensions granted by schools based upon a doctor’s note.
We are committed to assuring that your child’s participation in sports is not jeopardized by this regulation, but we need your collaboration to make this happen. Difficulties may arise without proper planning with the scheduling of appointments and coordinating insurance coverage. Please do your best to call two-to-three months in advance to schedule time for your child’s physical examination; last-minute examinations are very difficult for us to arrange.
A 2012 Consumer Reports (page 4 & 20) survey found our practice was the only pediatric practice in Massachusetts (among 158 surveyed) to receive top marks across all five patient-experience categories.
Our own Dr. Roger Spingarn is interviewed on NECN by Dr. Mallika Marshall concerning flu shots. Watch the video!
- Please call the office to schedule a time for your child’s flu vaccine.
- We strongly believe in immunizing our patients (beginning at 6 months of age) against influenza vaccine. Young children (and the elderly) are most vulnerable to becoming very ill with influenza. Children tend to spread disease because they come in contact with many other individuals every day. Vaccinating decreases the risk that your child will become ill, or spread disease to others. We encourage other family members to obtain vaccination against influenza from their physicians’ offices.
- Children aged 6 months through 8 years need only 1 dose of vaccine in 2012–13 if they received a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010. Children who did not receive a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010, require 2 doses in 2012–13.
- We’d like to share with you some flu-related information distributed to the staff of Newton-Wellesley Hospital by Mark Drapkin, M.D., Associate Chief of the Infectious Diseases Service there and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Drapkin has given us permission to relay the information to you. Mark Drapkin, influenza letter 2012