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Old 11-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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Re: The value of well child checks

Honestly, if my kids were healthy and money was tight and we didn't qualify for state help with medical expenses, I would at least do my best to make sure each kiddo sees their ped once a year to maintain their relationship. During a crisis the very last thing you want to do is scramble for a doctor or have to worry if after hours you have an urgent medical question that really can't wait. Maybe space the kids out on a 3 month annual schedule say Cate will go in
September, Eli March, Will June and Aliana December or something along those lines.

Our ped charges cash patients $67 for a visit so it is not a huge expense unless they start nickle and diming you. I find that about average since adult clinics around here charge anywhere from $60-$80. I would ask very pointed financial questions to make sure there aren't any surprises.

Don't be afraid to look around if their billing practices seem a bit off after talking to them. I am uninsured and flat out refuse to go to one clinic that demands a $100 deposit up front. I don't mind paying for the visit up front but I am not going to pay them extra in case they order a test. Now, I go to a doctor that is very good not only at providing care at a reasonable price but always figuring out the lowest cost Rx's if needed for an illness.

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Old 11-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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We recently switched to insurance that is basically for catastrophic illness only. Our well child checks will all be out of pocket. We do not vax right now, so what is the point of going? I can buy a scale to track growth at home for much cheaper than just one appointment.
There are lots of things that doctors are trained to look for, other than weight or height.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:48 PM   #13
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This has been my thought since our insurance changed. I'm wondering how many people have had serious illnesses that were diagnosed during a well visit. Personally I don't know anybody. Everyone that I know who has a serious health condition had symptoms that they went to their doctor about.

With my other kids, the pediatrician found some weird concern with each child and made us do all this extra and expensive testing with specialists. It always ended up that there was nothing wrong at all. It caused lots of worry, and now it would cause a lot of extra expenses as well. The one and only concern I did ever have was never addressed by our pediatrician, despite constant inquiries about it. Needless to say, we have since switched pediatricians.
Meh. I had a brain tumor and the symptoms were missed over a few years. I watch my kids and if something isn't right for them, I push for it to be checked out.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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Our insurance requires them, so we do. I'd do them even if it wasn't required. I like having a good relationship with our ped. and my oldest had horrible chronic ear infections, but never once complained. They'd only find them at well visits (and ear re checks. Lol). He ended up with some hearing loss because of all that, but it would be a lot worse if we hadn't gone to well visits.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:27 AM   #15
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Re: The value of well child checks

I think that people generally don't recognize all that is going on in a well child check. They see a weight being taken, length/height and maybe the doctor with a stethoscope for a couple of minutes. There is a misconception that all that is going on is the doctor checking to make sure that the child is staying on a particular growth curve. Honestly, I would suggest stopping your doctor sometime and asking them exactly what they are doing during a well physical for a child. The information the doctor gathers over time helps her determine normals for your child. There are plenty of textbook normals in physical and other developmental areas. However, each child is an individual and skipping well checks means that your pediatrician has to rely on averages for your child's health. If they only see them sick, they lose the ability to trend their health. A snapshot of a child with a cold or an upset stomach doesn't give your doctor a picture that can help diagnose a more chronic condition, etc. I think they are important. I don't necessarily think that you need to go every 2-4-6 weeks for the first two years. But, if we didn't vaccinate, I would probably go 3-4 times in the first year, 2-3 in the second and then continue annually thereafter.

Just to give you an idea - as a nurse I am not doing as extensive exam on my sick hospital adult patients as the doctor does on your child. But, in a 5 minute exam in their room, I can take more than 45 minutes to chart all of the information I gather - neuro, GI, cardio, GU, respiratory function and so on. I don't look like I am doing all that much, but I am using sight, listening skills, touch and smell to gather lots of data about my patients. I a talking and asking questions. Listening to answers and what isn't said. I am using my experience of listening to LOTS of lung sounds to decide if there might be a cold, or a pneumonia starting, etc. I am noticing moles and ticks. I hear irregular heart rhythms. I feel unequal pulses. I note warmth and swelling in a leg. I have a good stethoscope and experience listening to various hearts, but I still trust my children's doctor to determine if they have something like a murmur - and then to decide whether or not it is benign. Those who track their kids weights at home and think that they are almost on par with the physical are missing the subtle important parts of a well check.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by z2akids
I think that people generally don't recognize all that is going on in a well child check. They see a weight being taken, length/height and maybe the doctor with a stethoscope for a couple of minutes. There is a misconception that all that is going on is the doctor checking to make sure that the child is staying on a particular growth curve. Honestly, I would suggest stopping your doctor sometime and asking them exactly what they are doing during a well physical for a child. The information the doctor gathers over time helps her determine normals for your child. There are plenty of textbook normals in physical and other developmental areas. However, each child is an individual and skipping well checks means that your pediatrician has to rely on averages for your child's health. If they only see them sick, they lose the ability to trend their health. A snapshot of a child with a cold or an upset stomach doesn't give your doctor a picture that can help diagnose a more chronic condition, etc. I think they are important. I don't necessarily think that you need to go every 2-4-6 weeks for the first two years. But, if we didn't vaccinate, I would probably go 3-4 times in the first year, 2-3 in the second and then continue annually thereafter.

Just to give you an idea - as a nurse I am not doing as extensive exam on my sick hospital adult patients as the doctor does on your child. But, in a 5 minute exam in their room, I can take more than 45 minutes to chart all of the information I gather - neuro, GI, cardio, GU, respiratory function and so on. I don't look like I am doing all that much, but I am using sight, listening skills, touch and smell to gather lots of data about my patients. I have a good stethoscope and experience listening to various hearts, but I still trust my children's doctor to determine if they have something like a murmur - and then to decide whether or not it is benign. Those who track their kids weights at home and think that they are almost on par with the physical are missing the subtle important parts of a well check.
I actually agree with this. I do honk regular visits are important.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:45 AM   #17
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Re: The value of well child checks

Even my doctor friends (on is a family doc the other an ob) take their boys to well child checks.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #18
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Re: The value of well child checks

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
I think that people generally don't recognize all that is going on in a well child check. They see a weight being taken, length/height and maybe the doctor with a stethoscope for a couple of minutes. There is a misconception that all that is going on is the doctor checking to make sure that the child is staying on a particular growth curve. Honestly, I would suggest stopping your doctor sometime and asking them exactly what they are doing during a well physical for a child. The information the doctor gathers over time helps her determine normals for your child. There are plenty of textbook normals in physical and other developmental areas. However, each child is an individual and skipping well checks means that your pediatrician has to rely on averages for your child's health. If they only see them sick, they lose the ability to trend their health. A snapshot of a child with a cold or an upset stomach doesn't give your doctor a picture that can help diagnose a more chronic condition, etc. I think they are important. I don't necessarily think that you need to go every 2-4-6 weeks for the first two years. But, if we didn't vaccinate, I would probably go 3-4 times in the first year, 2-3 in the second and then continue annually thereafter.

Just to give you an idea - as a nurse I am not doing as extensive exam on my sick hospital adult patients as the doctor does on your child. But, in a 5 minute exam in their room, I can take more than 45 minutes to chart all of the information I gather - neuro, GI, cardio, GU, respiratory function and so on. I don't look like I am doing all that much, but I am using sight, listening skills, touch and smell to gather lots of data about my patients. I have a good stethoscope and experience listening to various hearts, but I still trust my children's doctor to determine if they have something like a murmur - and then to decide whether or not it is benign. Those who track their kids weights at home and think that they are almost on par with the physical are missing the subtle important parts of a well check.
Some Pediatricians lump kids together rather than doing them individually even if you go to the well visits. That is what happened with us with our last Ped and I was the one who was saying things weren't right, our Ped kept brushing me off. Then we took ds1 to another Ped and the same thing happened. So while they are some great Peds out there that may be doing a lot more than height/weight, others aren't. Our new Ped says that we don't need to do well visits since we don't vaccinate and our kids are healthy and we'd be able to recognize if something was wrong (like with ds1). He trusts us. He said once a year is just fine.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:01 AM   #19
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Re: The value of well child checks

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Originally Posted by JennTheMomma View Post
Some Pediatricians lump kids together rather than doing them individually even if you go to the well visits. That is what happened with us with our last Ped and I was the one who was saying things weren't right, our Ped kept brushing me off. Then we took ds1 to another Ped and the same thing happened. So while they are some great Peds out there that may be doing a lot more than height/weight, others aren't. Our new Ped says that we don't need to do well visits since we don't vaccinate and our kids are healthy and we'd be able to recognize if something was wrong (like with ds1). He trusts us. He said once a year is just fine.
There are poor practitioners in any field. The fact that some car mechanics are cheats doesn't mean that getting your oil changed is unimportant. Instead, it means you need to find a provider who can trust to do their job properly. I don't know what you mean about lumping kids together? The picture I get is of a row of kids at a clinic with a doctor just going down a line - maybe that's not what you meant.

How old are your kids? Mine are over 2 and I agree - once a year is fine. But, there is a big difference between skipping well child checks and going with your doctor's recommended once a year schedule.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:05 AM   #20
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Re: The value of well child checks

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There are poor practitioners in any field. The fact that some car mechanics are cheats doesn't mean that getting your oil changed is unimportant.

How old are your kids? Mine are over 2 and I agree - once a year is fine. But, there is a big difference between skipping well child checks and going with your doctor's recommended once a year schedule.
I agree that they are poor practitioners. Like I said, some are great others are not (in any field and any career). My kids are both over two, except for the one in the oven of course
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