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Original Articles By Dr. Lavin Featuring Expert Advice & Information about Pediatric Health Issues that you Care the Most About

Book your Annual Health Check Up Around your Child’s Birthday, and Avoid the Crunch this August

Dear Families,

Every year we have the honor of seeing each of your children over age 3 for their annual health check up.

Several trends have colluded to cause a crunch every August, so we thought it would be helpful to offer some thoughts so everyone can enjoy the ease of scheduling your annual health check up.

The first trend has been in place for several years, and is defined by the insurance benefit rule that your child cannot have an annual health exam only once every 365 days.  That forces all of us to have to wait a full year or more between annual health checks.

The second trend, together with the first, creates a lock.  That second trend is the adamant demand from all sports and schools that each athlete and student’s exam form cannot be more than one year old.

This creates a situation in which a child can have their annual health check on let’s say October 10.  That means the visit the following year cannot be done prior to October 10 or it will not be covered by insurance.  And it cannot be done after October 10, or the child’s form will be out of date risking being excluded from a sport.  That creates pressure from both sides, forcing one to have only one day to choose from, in this example, October 10.

Now, let’s add one more ingredient to the stew.   Let’s say your family is like mine, and we forget to schedule the annual health check until the school or sport deadline is upon us, usually sometime in mid-August.   In any practice, when families tend to gather at a single day or week for a service, it creates a crowd, schedules get jammed, and many families get frustrated that they call for an urgent need to get an annual exam on August 10, only to find many dozen other families have done just the same, and there simply are no more spots available that day.

If, however, your child does get a prized spot in mid-August, then the double bind kicks in, and that child’s annual exam is locked into the only time of the year time availability is very tight for annual exams, a recipe for yearly frustration and upset.

So Let’s Let Birthdays Solve the Trouble

The best way out of this trend towards big jams in August is to book each of your children’s annual exams around the time of their birthday.

This accomplishes several nice goals for your family:

  1. You get to make the appointment for your child’s annual health exam without any worries about availability.  By spreading out all the times, no time gets crowded, everyone has an easy time picking their preferred day for the annual visit.
  2. You get to remember when the annual exam is due, all you have to do is remember your child’s birthday.
  3. You avoid the agony of a coach breathing down pressures to get the exam done by the day of the first practice or seeing your child embarrassed by having to miss practice until the exam can be scheduled.

If your child has gone off the yearly birthday cycle, and your insurance company is insisting on not letting you reset the clock, talk to us, we would be happy to talk to your insurer and see if they can agree to something that is in their interest too, a reliable and easy to manage approach to regular provision of health that helps everyone.

 

BOTTOM LINES:

  1. The annual health exam is an important ingredient in providing good health care to your child(ren).
  2. The insurer demand to not allow the appointment to adjust inside a year, and the sports program demand to have a current exam on file with no flexibility on the 1 year term, families often feel squeezed to be able to schedule that annual exam in a very narrow window of days.
  3. Those days often happen during time when there is an annual surge of demand for health exams, August.
  4. If you make your child’s annual health care exam around the time of their birthday, you skip the crush of demand for a mid-August appointment, your sports exams will always be up to date, and you can remember to do this easily.
  5. Our office is happy to help you adjust your yearly routine appointment to a time near your child’s birthday.

 

So, to all parents of all children 3 and up, if they were born in the first half of the year, if you haven’t already, call the office now to book their annual health exam.

For everyone else, makes sure your annual exam is booked around your child’s birthday.

Let’s make August a time of less pressure, and the annual health exam an appointment you know you can make with the greatest of ease.

To your health,
Dr Arthur Lavin

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