Sourcing Private Medical Treatment

How you will source your private medical treatment will depend on your insurance provider but the following article provides an overview of the common methods of finding private health treatment for those with a private medical cash plan.

Once your claim has been approved you should have the option of finding treatment yourself and negotiating the price or using the insurance company’s independent treatment sourcing service.

Your insurance provider should give you a “benefit entitlement figure” or a budget of money for procedures covered by your plan. This budget has been worked out to cover the likely cost of medical treatment for particular procedures. However, should the procedure cost less, you will be able to keep the difference.

Figures from private health insurance provider Patient Choice found that the average amount if money left over after private medical treatment is £500.

Similarly, patients also have the choice to get their treatment, or part of it, on the NHS if they wish to do so. In this case they will be able to keep their budget.

In the unlikely event that the treatment you require costs more than your cash plan budget allows, you’ll be expected to pay the shortfall yourself. However, with fixed price packages this should not be a problem. You can also choose to have all or part of the treatment on the NHS to avoid paying out yourself.

Fixed-price treatment packages

Fixed price packages are offered by a number of medical insurance providers and offer a cost-effective way for people to buy treatment using their own money or a cash plan budget.

The packages are an ‘all-in’ way to manage treatment payment. They normally include:

• Fees for the consultant surgeon/physician and anesthetist
• Any charges related to use of the operating theatre
• Accommodation
• Meals
• Drugs
• X-rays etc. (in-patient)
• Physiotherapy (in-patient)
• Any treatment for the original condition which is required within 30 days of the procedure

Bespoke treatment

You can also pick and choose a tailor-made treatment package to suit you using your benefit entitlement figure. For example you might prefer to pay extra in order to have a private room. Alternatively you might want to economize by opting to share. You should be told what any costs will be in advance and this will enable you to manage your cash plan budget effectively.

Medical Treatment For Tinnitus and a New Hope

Many people think that there is no cure or medical treatment for Tinnitus but a recent breakthrough might prove otherwise. If you are suffering from Tinnitus then this new remedy might be just the one you were looking for.

* What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition where a person “hears” a ringing sound in one’s ear despite any actual sound being present in the environment. People with tinnitus often complain of a ringing noise in their ears which drowns out all other noises, often making it very uncomfortable. This type of ringing is often compared to transient ear ringing but tinnitus is a more chronic and persistent ringing which can also take the form of roaring, chirping or hissing in some cases.

* How common is tinnitus?

It is estimated by the American Tinnitus Association that over 52 million people in the United States have tinnitus and for about 15 million of them, the symptoms are severe enough to warrant getting medical treatment. And an estimated 3 million people have a very severe case of tinnitus that inhibits them from day to day activities such as attending school or their employment.

* How can you get tinnitus?

Older people are more at risk at getting tinnitus than others but there have been reported cases of children as young as 14 getting it. Mostly, tinnitus can happen due to age related hearing loss or nerve damage in the ear, which is why it’s most common among older people. Younger people can get tinnitus by exposing their ears to sudden and loud noises which can damage the ear. Tinnitus can also occur due to excessive ear wax buildup, use of certain medications, sinus infections, trauma to the lower head or neck area or medical conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid and diabetes.

* Traditional medical treatment for tinnitus

Tinnitus used to be thought of as a purely psychological condition but not anymore. Once tinnitus was acknowledged to be a medical condition, modern day medicine has come through with prescription medication, stress and anxiety treatment and in some extreme conditions even surgery.

Typical medications use to cure and treat tinnitus have been anti depressant drugs such as Xanax, antihistamines that reduce allergies and some heart medication. There have also been some breakthroughs in homeopathic remedies that some claim to help. For those people that do not like to take traditional medication, homeopathic remedies is an alternate option.

* New breakthrough treatment for tinnitus: Neuromonics

A new treatment option for tinnitus has just been introduced by the medical community which might give new hope to people who have tried other medications and remedies and are still suffering. This new treatment is called Neuromonics or Sound Masking as it’s also called. The concept of Neuromonics is simple. Low levels of sounds are transmitted into the ear by way of an earphone or earpiece, which is similar to static noise, with the intension of distracting the patient. It is hoped that this new sound will be less annoying and more comforting to the person and with time will drown out the more annoying sounds of tinnitus. Although this is not for everyone, with continued use and a little bit of getting used to, scientists believe that the brain will eventually “mask out” the annoying sounds of tinnitus and simply dial it out of perception.

Neuromonics treatment is done through a portable electronic device call the Oasis ™. Once patients have gone through a set of hearing tests, masking sounds are customized to that patient and are loaded onto the Oasis. Patients who have participated in studies have reported that they can sleep better and also perform day to day chores better than they have been able to do.

Once a patient has been administered Neuromonics treatment for a while, the masking sound is cut back for short periods of time to let the tinnitus sound be heard. This is done so that the brain can get exposed to the two sounds alternately and gradually get used to and in tuned with the more relaxing masking sound. The goal is to train the brain to completely ignore the annoying ringing sounds and get used to a more relaxing masking sound.

Although retraining might be done successfully, the results might be short term as the brain might get accustomed to the tinnitus sounds once masking sounds are turned off. Thus doctors recommend used Neuromonics once or twice a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time to maintain the effectiveness of the treatment.