The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 8, 1997 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 8, 1997
Page 6
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A6 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBERS, 1997 HEALTH THE SAUNA JOURNAL T HEARING Clinton strikes chord with boomers Hearing-aid centers report crescendo of inquiries after president gets fitted for device By The Associated Press NEW YORK — When President Clinton was fitted with hearing aids, baby boomers got the message loud and clear. The First Baby Boomer's example is apparently leading many middle-aged people to inquire about gadgets they once associated with the Geritol set. "I really didn't want to face up to it," said 57-year-old lawyer Nathan Beck, who had trouble hearing in the Jersey City, N.J., courthouse where he often works. "But with the president and reading how common this is, I recognized that there isn't any magic solution." On Saturday — a day after Clinton's annual physical turned up the hearing problem — Beck finally had the hearing aid fitting his doctor had been recommending for more than three years. He was not alone. The normally quiet audiology department at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore fielded calls from File photo Interest has boomed this past week in Inthe-canal hearing aids like President Clinton will wear. nearly a dozen patients in one day who cited Clinton's example. The Hearing Industries Association said it has been besieged with calls. "Our phone has been ringing, and people have been scheduling appointments," said Karin Young, head of audiology services at Johns Hopkins, who usually schedules about one appointment a day. The phenomenon in the $2 billion hearing aid industry recalls the 20 percent jump in sales that occurred after President Reagan was fitted for the first of his many hearing aids. But while Reagan's appeal was to senior citizens, Clinton's appeal is to those under 65 who studies have shown are less likely to wear hearing devices even if they are diagnosed with a hearing problem. Patients have begun asking for discreet hearing aids like the ones the 51-year-old president plans to wear. The skin-colored "completely in-the-canal" device hides in the auditory canal, noticeable only to those with a view directly into the ear. They're not cheap. White House has not disclosed what brand Clinton will wear, but the type officials have described costs about $4,000 for two. "There's a whole kind of psychological aura around hearing aids that doesn't really exist for glasses. There's a sense of infirmity," said Charles Hutto, an audiologist at Chesapeake Hearing Centers in Severna Park, Md. "We always say you're more conspicuous without a hearing aid than with it. People notice when you can't hear." MEDICAL SCHOOL Affirmative-action doctors perform well T MEDICARE Private payment of doctors raised Study finds students admitted in special programs do well By The Associated Press LOS ANGELES — Affirmative- action students admitted to a California medical school with low grades and test scores became just as good of doctors as the higher- scoring applicants, researchers say. The study, conducted at the University of California at Davis, was undertaken by two UC doctors concerned about the recent rollback of affirmative action in the state university system. The authors found no difference between special admissions students and regular admissions students in completing residency training, in their residency performance or in ultimately obtaining board certification. The special admissions students did have a higher failure rate on the national science examinations taken in medical school and had to repeat the exam more often before passing. The exam is among three that doctors must pass to obtain a license. But the authors concluded that the UC admissions policy that takes race and unique skills into account showed "no evidence of diluting tfae..; quality of the graduates." ;, .• ] The authors, Drs. Robert David-: son and Ernest Lewis of the -tlC-l Davis School of Medicine, exam- 1 , ined admissions at the institution; from 1968 through 1987. They ana 1 lyzed student files and sent queS^ tionnaires to graduates and dire'Cv tors of their residency programs.-:; Davidson and Lewis foun'dNi,; graduation rate of 94 percenffot special admissions students, com ; pared with 98 percent for regular' admissions. '."•»•' Open House-Saturday. DIPT SHOP 7-4 A ARMANI '"' POCKET DRAGONS Drawings for an Armani Statue. Value up to $300 SHEILA'S HOUSES \ The Kirby House of Abilene Now Available! Factory representatives will be here to answer questions. Beanie Babies (Sesame Street, . Looney Tunes, Mickey & Minnie] S You have to seel 1822 Iron Horse Road All weather roads. I-35 1st McPhersofti, .exit, left to first corner, follow signs. Doctors who accept Medicare also want private-paying patients By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The issue of whether senior citizens on Medicare should have the choice of paying doctors' bills out of their pockets has created a political uproar. Because of a recent change in federal law, the nearly Si million seniors with Medicare doctors' office coverage would, for the first time next year, be allowed to pay to receive care from those doctors who don't participate in the government's health insurance program for the elderly. But the nation's largest doctors group and a number of conservatives complain that the vast majority of doctors, who do take Medicare, wo.uld still be essentially cut off from taking on any private-paying patients. That's because under the change in law, doctors would have to choose between those private-payers and the larger universe of people who "Why shouldn't the physician be able to contract (with private- paying patients) and still see other Medicare patients?" Dr. Thomas Reardon American Medical Association chairman * do want to use their Medicare coverage. "For some time now there have been certain patients who have said we're willing to pay our own doctors' regular fees — because of access or whatever," said Dr. Thomas Reardon, chairman of the American Medical Association. "Why shouldn't the physician be able to contract (with them) and still see other Medicare patients?" The AMA is lobbying hard for a bill sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyi, R- Ariz., and key Republican leaders that would let doctors who ordinarily accept Medicare name their price whenever older people are willing and able to pay. • President Clinton disapproves. Republicans say to get It past him they may try to attach the measure to legislation Clinton badly wants, such as a free trade measure. "It's critical that we get it done," Kyi said. The dispute does not involve services not covered by Medicare, such as some preventive health screenings and elective procedures. These will continue to be available to any patient willing to pay private prices or find private insurance coverage. And seniors always have the option of not enrolling in Medicare; in such cases, the restrictions on doctors don't apply. Until the recent change, it had been illegal for any doctor to bill a Medicare patient at private rates for services that otherwise would be covered under Medicare's standard fees, which are generally lower. That rule, designed to protect seniors from price-gouging, also had cut off Medicare patients from doctors who wouldn't take DIRECTV. SATE LUTE TV AT ITS BEST Now Your New DSS is even better with HURRY! 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See aaenl for details. Mone/back guarantee Wwde*p;lceol equipment gnly. SATEUITE TV AT ITS BEST "* » | n ,tal|atten W d fwogqunnd^ W.I jnclM<l«f. Medicare. That was especially a problem in cases of rare specialists or lone practitioners in isolated areas who wouldn't accept Medicare payments. Lawmakers seeking a solution to that problem got it changed as part of this summer's budget deal that was approved by Congress and the president. Baldwin Bros. GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE y^-jr My family and I would like i to thank all the "angels" who' came to out rescue after our home was destroyed by fire. We would needin entire page to lilt you each by name, but please know that we are extremely grateful for your anUfance and support We would especially like to thank the Woodbine, Herington and Chapman Fire Departments, the Dickinson County Sheriff's Department and the / American Red Crow. FINAL 5 DAYS All Furniture Drastically Reduced Baldwin Bros. Furniture jti Wallace ana Family 141 S. 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