Greetings! Can you believe it’s back to school time again? The summer flew by and I know it sounds cliche, but the older I get, the faster time seems to travel faster and faster. For many, the return to school is a welcome return to a schedule and a routine. Unfortunately, I heard last evening, that the return to school may be a return to mask mandates; fortunately, I don't think this will apply to schools in our area, but reportedly a school in Atlanta has mandated masks. Covid numbers may be up a bit, but it's important to remember that Covid is now endemic, and not a pandemic. Covid continues to exist and will infect people with varying severity, but it has become more like the flu. Just as with the yearly flu shot, you may opt for a Covid booster, such as if you are in a vulnerable condition. There is another emerging health concern that hits a little closer to home to me and the plastic surgery world. There have been some reported cases of "flesh-eating bacteria" in Florida due to an organism that lives and thrives in the warm ocean water. The actual bacteria is called vibrio. It is important to remember that bacteria lurks in our ocean waters in Charleston, too, and through the years I have seen some catastrophic infections, namely from a bacteria called mycobacterium. When patients have surgery, I caution against swimming, both in pools and natural waterways. You may have grown up, like I did, hearing about the medicinal salt water of the ocean. Unfortunately, if you have a surgical wound or cuts and scrapes, I would caution against taking that ocean plunge.
Another health notice that deserves mention relates to Ozempic. I talked about Ozempic in my last blog and mentioned the delayed gastric emptying caused by Ozempic which can cause anesthetic complications. Now, reports have emerged about counterfeit Ozempic being sold online. Beware!!!
Switching gears from my frustration with the pharmaceutical industry, I'll now shift to my angst with health insurance companies. As many of you may be aware, my office has always accepted a large number of health insurance coverages. Breast reduction surgery, for example, is one of those operations that has traditionally been eligible for insurance coverage. Increasingly, we are seeing denials for coverage when pre-certifications (precerts) are requested, and more and more plans are listing breast reduction surgery as an exclusion from coverage. We have also experienced denials for coverage after a precert was granted and the surgery was performed. While the fine line print with any precert has also stated that the precert is not a guarantee of coverage, until recently, this was something we experienced very infrequently. Not so much anymore. As a result, we are having to update our insurance policies. You may be asked to pay for your operation prior to your surgery date, and once the office received payment, we will issue a refund, minus any copays or deductibles which are deemed the patient responsibility. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in an effort to continue to work with our patients and their insurance companies and stay "in-network," changes are required. We will be explaining these financial policies in more detail on the website, and as always, feel free to call the office with any questions.
For everyone’s mental sanity, I want to leave you on a positive note for the rest of your week. So, here's some good news! We are continuing our skin care specials for the month of September! Check out the details below.
Brighten Peel Special:
For those of you who enjoyed the summer sun but are now suffering from the ill effects, like a worsening of your melasma and sunspots, we are offering a great special on our "Brighten" chemical peel.
For the month of September, we are offering patients 25% off the regular price.
Dr. Heidi Williams Skincare Products:
Purchase 1 skincare product, and get 25% off the second product!
We are also having a giveaway on Instagram! Tag your friends to enter a raffle for 20 units of Botox! You may enter as many times as you want! The more you tag, the better chance you have to win!
Also, for those with questions about pre and post-op products that can aid your healing, as well as products that can help your general well-being, we have provided easy links to Amazon on our website for cost-efficient options that can be delivered to your doorstep! We will be adding products as we get this part of our website up and going, so check back frequently! I'm going to leave you with the song of the week. The original version reminds me of my college days, and I also chose it in honor of my daughter, Sophie, who just headed back to the University of Florida, and who loves country music and Luke Combs! I hope she didn't drive too fast, lol!
'Til next time,