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Archive for July, 2008

Saltzer’s Occupational Medicine “Team”

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Dr. Shoemaker, an Occupational Medicine Physician, has been at Saltzer Medical Group for over 2 months now. He is very happy to be back in the Treasure Valley working with his “Team”. His “Team” consists of 3 key people.

The Director of Occ Med, Tom, who he met while working in Oregon, chose to move to Idaho to continue working for Dr. Shoemaker. Tom has 20 years experience in various Health Care related positions.
His assistant, Lynn, who had previously worked with Dr. Shoemaker, was delighted to come back to work for him. Lynn has worked in Occupational Medicine for 4 1/2 years and is currently working towards an Associate degree in Health Sciences.
And last but not least, me, Lynda. I also had previously worked with Dr. Shoemaker. I returned to nursing to work for Dr. Shoemaker at Saltzer Medical Group after a short hiatus. I have 20 years of nursing experience and 5 of those years were spent in Occupational Medicine.

Dr. Shoemaker and his “Team” come together with many years of experience. With the combined knowledge of the “Team”, it’s by far one of the best in the Valley.
If you or anyone you know could benefit from a Board Certified Occupational Medicine Physician, get on the phone and call us at 884-2965.

Dr. Shoemaker with Saltzer Medical Group

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Dr. Howard Shoemaker is now with Saltzer Medical Group in both Meridain and Nampa, Idaho! I can’t tell you what a relief this is for me personnally as well as professionally.

I first started working with Dr. Shoemaker and his nurse Lynda some four years ago. That was when I discovered that I had a passion for this line of work. Through Dr. Shoemakers indirect influence and Lynda’s direct influence, I made the decision to go back to school (after 20+ years) to obtain an Associates Degree in Health Sciences. I felt that through this degree and a certification as a Medical Assistant I would be able to give more of myself to the area of work comp and the injured worker. I can’t begin to tell you how they both have influenced me; both professionally and spiritually and how good it is to be a part of his Occupational Medicine team again.

Dr. Shoemaker has over thrity years of experience in the world of Occupational Medicine. His willingness to treat injured workers and to assist them in their rehabilitation process is commendable. Dr. Shoemaker prides himself on his specific protocols which help him to return the injured worker back to a full duty status sooner.

I value Dr. Shoemakers’ experience and the knowlege that both he and Lynda posses and am truely blessed to be a part of the Occupational Medicine team here at Saltzer Medical Group. If you have experienced a work related injury, I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Shoemaker and his staff to you. So if the occasion should arise, we would be glad to see you and to help serve your needs as a work comp patient.

New Family Practice Doctors

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

We have two new family practice physicians starting at Saltzer in August

John Freeman, MD will begin seeing patients August 7. Dr. Freeman is a pediatrics, internal medicine physician who will be working in our family practice department at 215 E. Hawaii Ave in Nampa. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Freeman call 468-5910

Mark Clinger, MD, family practice, will begin seeing patients at 745 S. Progress Ave in Meridian on August 20. To make an appointment with Dr. Clinger, please call 884-2920

Dr. Shoemaker and Saltzer Occupational Health

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Beginning in May, 2008, Saltzer Medical Group rededicated itself to developing a quality Occupational Medicine program in the greater Boise area. With clinics in both Meridian and Nampa, their hope is to offer quality care and service to both the employers and employees of the Treasure Valley. The first move was to find a board certified and residency trained Occupational Medicine physician. This was accomplished when Dr. Howard Shoemaker took the position with Saltzer Medical Group. Doctor Shoemaker, who had been a part of the Primary Health Occupational Medicine group, left for the rains of Oregon in 2005. During his time in Oregon his wife had continued to operate as a real-estate agent with the Tamarack development in Donnelly, Idaho. Because of this business interest, when Saltzer Medical Group offered Dr. Shoemaker the opportunity to return to Boise he decided that it was time to return to Idaho.

For the past thirty years, Dr. Shoemaker has practiced exclusively occupational medicine. Why is this important to area employers? The reasons are way too numerous for one short blog. However, some of the primary reasons include an aging workforce, getting your workers back to work as quickly as possible, and finally to provide the highest quality of care for the injured worker.

Lets first address the aging workforce. As we age, there is a natural amount of deterioration which occurs within the body. Whether it is cartilage between our bones, or the natural de-calcification of our bones, it is important to have a skilled specialist who can identify between what is a work related injury and what is just a part of being a baby-boomer. As any claims adjuster, safety manager or HR manager will attest to, a miss-diagnosed injury can become a financial nightmare within the Workers Comp system. As Dr. Shoemaker frequently states, “it is 10% of the cases that creates 90% of the expenses”.

Second, getting workers back to work is extremely important to the company’s bottom line. In a study conducted by Lilly Ramphal, MD, MPH, she states that companies pay $62 billion dollars in lost productivity or “lost time”. This translates into approximately 42% of work related injuries expenses in the United States ($140 billion). Without the proper diagnosis of the work-related injury, or the granting of excessive time off due to injury, this number would escalate even further out of control. As Dr. Shoemaker has frequently stated, “you always want to do what is best for the patient, and in virtually every instance what is best for the patient is to get them back to work”. Dr. Shoemaker has told me many times, he believes that a worker is like an athlete and it is his job to get them “back in the game”. By doing so, the employee will heal faster.

Finally, everyone wants the employee to receive a high level of care. By properly identifying the injury, the employee can begin an aggressive regimen of treatment. In doing so, they can get back to work and continue to do what they were trained to do. By having a specialist monitor the worker’s progress, success is more likely to occur.
Because of the above reasons, we welcome Dr. Shoemaker back to the Treasure Valley.

Micron Insurance Shortcoming

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

As a pediatrician I am concerned about the impact Micron’s new insurance system will have on some of the Treasure Valley’s most vulnerable citizens, children.

The new insurance is structured so that only one hospital in the Boise area is covered by the premium coverage. Use of any other hospital results in higher co-pays, and deductibles, resulting in significantly increased health care costs for Micron families.

St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center is not a part of the premium network. St. Luke’s is the only children’s hospital in the area. St. Luke’s has the only pediatric ICU and is the only hospital in the area that provides coverage by all of the pediatric subspecialists such as gastroenterology, neurology, infectious disease, oncology, etc.

With Micron’s new insurance plan families can only access services at the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital by paying a much higher deductible and receiving lower reimbursements. This results in much higher medical bills for Micron families seeking proper, high quality medical care for their children.

In addition, many physicians that were previously preferred providers are no longer part of the premium network. Imagine the emotional toll on children and their families who are forced to leave a doctor they have grown to trust.

My partners and I at Saltzer Medical Group have seen many children of Micron employees for years, several with chronic and ongoing medical conditions. The change in insurance plan structure will result in worse outcomes for these children.

I am hoping that Micron will rethink their insurance structure, and put these children before the bottom line.

Katie Copeland, MD
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Saltzer Medical Group, P.A.

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