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Beverly Hills Dermatologist
American Spectator, by Ben Stein

Original Article

Posted By:jj1319, 1/12/2014 1:43:34 PM

Monday For many years now, I have endured a mild skin disorder, rarely fatal. I usually am monitored by a fine doctor in Rancho Mirage. But I wanted a dermatologist near our home in Beverly Hills, so I asked around and got a reference for a Dr. Wang, as I will call him. (Not his real name.) This afternoon, I entered his tiny waiting room, introduced myself to the young women behind the counter and smiled. The women asked me to fill out several forms, which I did and handed them back.

Posted under original date with permission of staff.


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: MisterDickens, 1/12/2014 2:00:50 PM     (No. 9689392)

Listen, BEN, I think you were a mucky muck in a couple of president´s administrations and I believe Medicare was in full force and had been for a while. That means it was already being ripped off since it was ripped off from the outset.

Why now, 40 years later, are you just now trying to do something about it? You are no longer a mucky muck. Why didn´t you do something when you were? This is why we are in such a mess now. No one wants to rock the boat while they are in it and once they get out, they can´t rock it. All they can do is whine about it.

To assuage their conscious, I guess.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Mainelysane, 1/12/2014 2:03:51 PM     (No. 9689394)

Ben Stein.. that´s the way electronic health records work. Sorry. Your government at work.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: The Advocate, 1/12/2014 2:10:21 PM     (No. 9689403)

Didn´t Ben support Obamacare?
Obamacare ripped 700 million out of medicares already low reimbursements- to transfer money to Michelle´s BFF and Val jars daughter at corruptnCGI for a non working Web Site!
Billing records are a bane on the profession and will not improve health CARE or patient privacy.
Ben - you are getting the treatment you deserve.
If you want to demonize doctors - start with dr Mengele aka ZekeEanuuel, the author of Obamacare.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Urgent Fury, 1/12/2014 2:14:09 PM     (No. 9689411)

Ben won´t be able to find a doc now. He´ll be on file as a bad attitude, like Elaine and Uncle Leo.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: PoliticalJunky, 1/12/2014 2:21:39 PM     (No. 9689418)

Mr. Stein and I are older than the average American and we are affronted by what we see as a lack of manners. I have grown used to having younger people call me by my first name. I reason that first names are easier to pronounce than many surnames and it is a practical matter more than discourtesy. When I was a high school student the teachers set an example for us. They never used our firsst names as teachers had in elementary school. We had become "Mr. So and So" and "Miss So and So".

I will never forget the first time a teen ager, totally unknow to me, addressed me as "Grandma". I thought I was being insulted.

Other times, other cultures, other norms. Forgive us for having a hard time coping.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: mitzi, 1/12/2014 2:24:37 PM     (No. 9689422)

Does the doctor not realize that Medicare sends periodic statements of the medical services you received?

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Garage Logician, 1/12/2014 2:28:43 PM     (No. 9689426)

That Dr. Wang has no conscience when it comes to Medicare billing.

Just because Stein was once a muckety muck in a previous administration doesn´t mean he doesn´t get to complain about Medicare now. It´s not as if he didn´t try to abolish Medicare while he was a muckety muck. But being a mere muckety muck doesn´t make one an emperor, so maybe he knew he couldn´t abolish Medicare.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Dixie, 1/12/2014 2:46:36 PM     (No. 9689441)

I noticed that Mr. Stein didn´t mention whether or not the paperwork he had to complete contained a question asking him if he had a gun in the house and another asking him specifically to describe himself as either straight, homosexual, Lesbian, or "bi".

My Prime Care doctor recently retired (surprise) and my new Prime Care doctor did have the above questions on his new patient form.
I was offended.

And whenever any doctor addresses me by my first name, I respond using his or her first name (having previously checked to see what it is on my way into his/her office). The doctor inevitably objects to my use of his/her first name and I then say, "Oh, sorry. I thought you wanted to be on a first-name basis, since you used mine. Next time, ask me first."

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Reply 9 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/12/2014 2:52:27 PM     (No. 9689451)

I reported an endocrinologist to Medicare for billing for more than the services rendered.

I got a periodic blood test and previous doctors simply phoned the result to me. This doctor required that I come to his office, be weighed and blood pressure and temperature taken, and then he would tell me the test result. One number.

But he and his office made a big mistake. I was given a copy of the statement where he ticked off the procedure to be billed. In every case it was the code for "Detailed visit".


I too am sick of first names used by people who don´t know me, have never known me, and will probably never ever know me. Their ages don´t matter.

By inference Stein has labeled this overbilling a Beverly Hills problem. It isn´t. It is a nationwide problem.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 1/12/2014 2:56:35 PM     (No. 9689453)

Re #1, Stein was never a "mucky muck" in any administration unless you call a speechwriter (probably one of many) for presidents Nixon and Ford. Zero influence.

Like the rest of us he has a perfect right to complain about dishonesty and fraud in the Medicare system - in his own case - and has the ability to go public with it.

So hurray for Ben Stein!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Charactercounts, 1/12/2014 3:09:11 PM     (No. 9689457)

Years ago, I read an article in a magazine by a prominent surgeon. He objected to the disrespect shown patients by medical staff, including doctors, who called patients by their first names.

His solution? Look the doctor right in the eye and call him by his first name. He said the doctor´s reaction would tell you if you should allow him to treat you.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: SaguaroJack, 1/12/2014 4:32:09 PM     (No. 9689508)

Dr Stein, plenty of us been griping about this sort of thing a long, long time. I, too, have a professional title but it´s seldom used by these young medical people who call everyone by their first names. I would prefer "Mr" to my Christian name but that only happens if I make a scene, just as you described. And I have to educate everyone in the office as they seem not to communicate with each other. And when I do go about educating everyone in the office, a couple of them always make sure to be in the next room speaking in very loud voices about the rude guy in Room 4.

I´ve taught for 19 years and have said for 19 years that schools need to enforce the use of titles. Girls Miss, boys Mr. Teachers the same, and teachers not to use first names between themselves where kids can hear. Principals addressed by professional titles. No exceptions. Not a single school of the four where I´ve taught (and in each of which I set the example) did this notion ever take root.

You´re whizzing in the fan, Dr Stein.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: shamus, 1/12/2014 4:51:54 PM     (No. 9689519)

In Stein´s case, the apple fell light years away from the tree.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: PAdiva, 1/12/2014 5:24:40 PM     (No. 9689535)

My chiropractor refers to himself as ´Dr Jeff´ and he addresses his patient by their first names. The chiropractors around here do that with their names.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: TXknitter, 1/12/2014 5:31:00 PM     (No. 9689540)

My husband addresses patients using their proper names and instructs all office staff to do the same. It´s a simple matter of respect and manners, isn´t it? I was in attendance in a Ft. Worth ER when a dignified elderly gentleman corrected a physician for addressing he and wife by their first names without permission. I had to stifle a giggle. The doc turned red and apologized.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: beare, 1/12/2014 5:46:53 PM     (No. 9689548)

I work for scheduling services for a large healthcare organization in PA. When we call patients, we are instructed to ask for them by their first name. We are not allowed to use their last name, especially when leaving a message on an answering machine, until we determine we are indeed speaking directly to the patient. They are so scared of violating some damn HIPAA regulation. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I feel so bad addressing patients by their first names. It goes against everything I was taught growing up. Thanks to government regulations and intrusion, there will be nothing sacred in this country. Nothing...

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Philipsonh, 1/12/2014 5:54:58 PM     (No. 9689555)

I completely disagree with Mr Stein regarding the first name situation. I believe that the providers want to make you feel comfortable by using your first name. I cannot remember the last time any provider addressed me by my last name. Remember, the HIPAA rules mandate privacy, and calling out your last name in a waiting room is a lack of same. When I am addressed by my last name anywhere, I ask the people to just call me by my first name. I happen to prefer it. Also, there are medical offices that I go to where the providers are foreign born with such convoluted last names that everyone in the office uses the first names or nicknames so people will all understand who is who. Everyone called my primary care physician ´ Dr Joe ´ because it it is easy, familiar, and friendly, and he preferred it. I even go to a Dr. Hillary but that one hurts me to say, because, well, you can guess the answer to that one.( That is her first name ).

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Reply 18 - Posted by: privateer, 1/12/2014 6:19:18 PM     (No. 9689576)

Call the receptionist Little Miss, or Missy...honey if you dare. Call the physician Doc, or if that doesn´t work Docky. Or Sawbones.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: texaspast, 1/12/2014 6:49:03 PM     (No. 9689599)

I call BS on the HIPPA excuse. This is just another way to keep the cattle in their place. Customers of doctors have become ´patients´ rather than ´people.´ I (also a professional) call all my clients Mr. or Ms., even the ones I´ve had for decades. I also teach some classes teaching paralegal courses. I try to drill into them that all clients are ´Mr.´ or ´Ms.´ and that they are doing the lawyer a favor by bringing the lawyer their business, and not the other way around. No client will be hacked off by being ´over-respected´ - but you can hack people off by disrespect. And, btw, I have called a receptionist ´tootsie´ before when she called me by my first name.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: jond, 1/12/2014 7:26:44 PM     (No. 9689621)

The billing practice is called "up-coding" (when it isn´t outright fraud) and is, IMHO, a response to rates dictated by insurance companies and governments.

Its a similar response to companies that, faced with unions and regulations, move their manufacturing off shore.

That´s not a moral judgement either way. Just a note that when you try to force people to provide a service at a given rate, they don´t always cooperate.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Ken M., 1/12/2014 7:45:24 PM     (No. 9689636)

Looks like I´m in the minority on this (age 70). But I don´t mind in the least using first names.

My primary care Dr. -- she´s a PA, not an MD -- is extremely popular, and she´s very well liked by all her patients. We´re all quite satisfied customers, so to speak. I have a couple other specialists (MDs), but we´re on a first name basis as well. Things must be different out here in Las Vegas.

Her first name is some lengthy 3- maybe 4 syllables thing. And everyone addresses her with an affable 2-syllable nickname (ends in "ie"). She uses it herself, the staff uses it, and if we get something in the mail, etc. from her, that´s how she signs it. The only time we see that cumbersome formal first name is on an ? or some formal billing paperwork.

Everyone´s on a first name mode in that office (as well as the specialists offices). Again, seemingly in the minority on this msg thread.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: rock n robin, 1/12/2014 8:40:36 PM     (No. 9689689)

I ALWAYS ask for permission to address my patients by their first name. I can count on one hand the number of times I´ve been refused. A number of patients seem somewhat nonplussed by this formality, but I think pleased at the thoughtfulness. I do, however, insist that they call me "Doctor." I believe that the "power" asymmetry actually improves the therapeutic effectiveness--maybe, in part, by placebo.
Of the few who have refused, if they eventually don´t feel more comfortable, my experience is that this is bodes ill for being able to establish an effective therapeutic rapport.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: Smart11344, 1/12/2014 10:08:46 PM     (No. 9689742)

My primary care doctor never addresses me by name. I really like him as a doctor. On many visits I don´t use his name Dr. "Blank". Just good morning or hello. I am not offended if a doctor calls me by my first name. I do understand I am a client, patient or customer if you will, not his pal or buddy.

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Reply 24 - Posted by: lillehuset, 1/12/2014 11:10:39 PM     (No. 9689796)

I am 80 years old and married 56 years and I want to be called by Mrs.............. I have earned it............I do not like a young receptionist calling me by my first name......that is reserved for friends and family........

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Reply 25 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/13/2014 1:41:22 AM     (No. 9689865)

That "Doctor" Stein was the tip of the iceberg. Be thankful they didn´t call you "Hon" Be thankful you even found a dermatologist today willing to take Medicare.

All office visits are now ´extended´ Phone calls won´t be returned and you have to go to the office so they can bill Medicare. I was livid when my NP charged $200 to chit chat. Let´s not forget the doctor´s bonus for asking about your personal life.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: TruthAndJustice, 1/13/2014 10:33:07 PM     (No. 9690957)

Stein, you weazel ...not since you decided all your neighbors looked like they were doing well and you decided they could afford to pay more taxes can I stomach your whining.

Please sir, crawl back in your progressive hole.

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Reply 27 - Posted by: TruthAndJustice, 1/13/2014 10:43:29 PM     (No. 9690968)

I note...you Stein, extrapolated to all doctors rather than just your Dr. Wang as over billing people.

Perhaps you could look into the government not paying doctors for their services...or simply apply to the thug in the WH for a job seeing as your selling the same blather you pretentious twit.

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Monday For many years now, I have endured a mild skin disorder, rarely fatal. I usually am monitored by a fine doctor in Rancho Mirage. But I wanted a dermatologist near our home in Beverly Hills, so I asked around and got a reference for a Dr. Wang, as I will call him. (Not his real name.) This afternoon, I entered his tiny waiting room, introduced myself to the young women behind the counter and smiled. The women asked me to fill out several forms, which I did and handed them back.

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About six in ten American voters think Barack Obama lies to the country on important matters some or most of the time, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday. Thirty-seven percent think Obama lies “most of the time,” while another 24 percent say he lies “some of the time.” Twenty percent of voters say “only now and then” and 15 percent “never.” Click here for the poll results. President Obama has been accused by political opponents and media fact-checkers alike of telling falsehoods. Frequently cited: His repeated claim that under Obamacare “If you like your plan, you can keep

Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message:
Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again

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Washington Times, by Jessica Chasmar    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 4/16/2014 3:42:51 PM     Post Reply
With Easter soon approaching, the Rev. Al Sharpton on Wednesday drew parallels between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of President Obama’s political career. Joining the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” Mr. Sharpton said that his message for this Easter is that “no matter what the world may do to you unfairly, no matter how you’re crucified — nailed to the cross at home, or in your personal relationships, or on the job — that you can rise if you don’t lose yourself during the hard times and the challenges.” The reverend went on to say that Christ endured so much humiliation and unearned suffering leading up to his death,

Wendy Davis will undergo neck surgery
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Star-Telegram [Fort Worth TX], by Anna M. Tinsley    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 4/16/2014 4:02:34 PM     Post Reply
FORT WORTH — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis will undergo neck surgery today, her campaign said Tuesday. “After experiencing shoulder and right arm pain in recent weeks, Sen. Davis will have a routine surgical procedure to remove bone spurs and degenerative discs that are creating compression on the nerves in her neck,” campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas said in a statement Tuesday. “This is a common issue experienced by runners and endurance athletes,” he said. Davis, of Fort Worth, will undergo the outpatient surgery at the Fort Worth Brain and Spine Institute. Dr. Thomas Ellis will perform the

Obama administration gives Detroit
$100 million for ´blight removal´

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American Thinker, by Rick Moran    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 4/16/2014 1:36:54 PM     Post Reply
The cash infusion by the federal government is actually going to help the city pay pensions, even though they´re playing a kind of shell game with the money. As for "blight removal," perhaps they could start with city hall. Reuters: Michigan officials and President Barack Obama´s Administration are discussing a plan to free up $100 million in federal money to aid Detroit´s retired city workers, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday. Citing two people familiar with the talks, the newspaper said the talks were centered around federal money flowing to Michigan for blight removal. Under the plan, $100 million

Michael Bloomberg: ´I Have Earned
My Place in Heaven´

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The Weekly Standard, by Daniel Halper    Original Article
Posted By: Bill the Cat- 4/16/2014 9:15:28 AM     Post Reply
Former New York City mayor is pledging to spend $50 million this year to push gun control, the New York Times reports. For this and other deeds (such as taking on obesity and smoking), Bloomberg believes he´s going to heaven. “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg told the Times.

Climate change causing fish to
lose their minds, researchers say

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Washington Times, by Cheryl K. Chumley    Original Article
Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- 4/16/2014 1:35:05 PM     Post Reply
Climate change’s latest casualty appears to be fish — or more specifically, fish brains — as researchers say the carbon dioxide that’s being absorbed into the ocean is causing the scaly creatures to lose their survival instincts. In other words, the fish are losing their minds, The Daily Mail reported. The acid from atmospheric carbon dioxide seeps into sea waters, dissolves and ultimately lowers the pH balance, researchers said. The acidic waters then hamper the fishes’ sensory systems, so they’re not able to distinguish between smells any longer, the scientists went on. When the acid levels get really high, the fish lose their

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