Is Uterine Fibroid Embolization Covered By Insurance?

If you’re considering Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) to treat your fibroid symptoms, you most certainly have many questions. “Will I have to stay overnight in the hospital?” “Is the procedure painful?” “How long will my recovery be?”

One question that may also be on your mind—“Will my insurance cover UFE?”

Although all insurance companies and policies differ, the answer is most likely yes. You may be responsible for a portion of the cost—depending on your individual plan, your deductible amount, and what percentage of the cost will be paid by the insurance company—but UFE is covered by most insurance providers.

Before having any procedure, of course, you should do your homework and check with your insurance provider to verify your plan and benefit coverage. Know ahead of time what your financial responsibility will be and if you’ll need any specific referrals or preauthorizations before undergoing UFE.

Be sure to ask your health insurance provider the following:

  • Is a referral by my primary care physician required for consultation with a radiologist?
  • Is my interventional radiologist considered in-network?
  • Is pre-certification required for UFE’s pre-procedural pelvic MRI?
  • Is pre-certification required for my UFE procedure?

At Interventional Physicians of Indiana, we are here to help with all aspects of your fibroid treatment—including the financial part. We will work with you to submit your health insurance claim and will try to answer any questions you may have about your coverage. We participate with many medical groups to provide healthcare service to their HMO members and PPO healthcare plans.

We are in-network with a number of health insurance providers. You can find a general list of insurance providers we work with here. However, be sure to check with your provider directly to verify your specific plan and benefit coverage.

Snow Shoveling: Tips for Avoiding Back Pain this Winter

Winter is upon us, and, like it or not, winter means snow—and consequently, snow shoveling—here in Central Indiana.

Did you know that shoveling snow is a frequent cause of injury, causing thousands of back and shoulder injuries each year? Below are a few tips on how you can be safer this winter and take precautions to avoid injury while shoveling.

☞ Stretch first. Snow shoveling can be compared to weight lifting, and the aerobic aspect of this activity is similar to the workout one gets on a treadmill. Tight muscles are more prone to injury; thus, as with any exercise, it is important to first stretch your muscles before heading out to the driveway.

☞ Wear proper attire. Being cold will tighten up your muscles and leave you vulnerable to painful muscle strains. Therefore, wear warm layers that you can shed should you become too hot. Thick gloves will keep your hands warm and dry and will also allow for a good grip on the shovel’s handle. And boots with good traction will help you maintain your balance, preventing unfortunate slips and falls.

☞ Pace yourself. Snow shoveling is strenuous work. Be sure to take frequent breaks to rest, stretch, and drink plenty of water. If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.

Create better traction. If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction. While shoveling itself can cause damage to the back if done incorrectly, slipping and falling can also obviously cause injury; therefore, it is important to watch your footing and do your best to prevent falls in the first place.

☞ Choose the right shovel. Using an ergonomically correct shovel—one with a curved handle—allows you to keep your back straighter while shoveling, thus reducing spinal stress. Choosing a shovel made to push snow is also a good option. Consider using a shovel with a plastic blade, which will be lighter weight than one with a metal blade. Finally, a smaller blade may be preferable over a wider one. You will not be able to shovel as much snow per load, but the loads will weigh less, putting less strain on your spine with each pass.

☞ Use proper technique. Use good posture and maintain the natural curve of your spine while shoveling. Keep the shovel close to your body, and create some distance between your hands while gripping the handle. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift the snow. Lift with your legs—not your back—and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift. Don’t throw the snow over your shoulder or twist your body while dumping snow; instead, dump it in front of you. If you must dump it in another spot, walk over, as opposed to leaning over or throwing the snow. Rotating or twisting your body, especially with a shovelful of heavy snow, can be an easy way to injure your back.

☞ Shovel early, shovel often. Snow becomes more dense as it compacts on the ground, and wet snow is very heavy, weighing as much as 20 pounds per shovelful! Fresh snow is lighter in weight, so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. As snow continues to fall, you may find yourself outside several times, but it is much easier to clear fresh, lighter snow than dense, heavy, wet snow.

☞ Consider a snowblower. If shoveling is too strenuous for you, using a snowblower can be a good option. However, if not used correctly, it can still cause back strain. Snowblowers are designed to remove snow at a particular rate of speed, so pushing or forcing the equipment to go faster defeats the purpose—and puts you at risk of injury.

Overall, the best thing to do while shoveling snow is to use common sense. Stop shoveling if you feel any pain at all, and don’t feel you have to tackle the whole job all at one time. If you are out of shape or have had back injuries in the past, it is best to check with your doctor before shoveling. (Or, better yet, consider hiring the job out!)

Winter is the Perfect Time to Treat Your Varicose Veins

Snuggling up next to the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book while the blistery snow blows outside sounds dreamy to most people. The thought of going outside, especially to exercise, becomes less and less appealing to many as winter hits.

If you have varicose veins, you may actually welcome the cold weather, though, as it gives you an excuse to hide your unsightly veins under long pants. But, did you know that varicose veins may worsen in winter? The amount of exercise most people get usually decreases when the weather gets colder, and a variety of health problems, including varicose veins, can result from this more sedentary lifestyle.

Varicose veins—enlarged, twisted veins near the surface of the skin, predominantly in the legs—are partly hereditary; however, obesity, lack of exercise, and a bad diet can contribute to their development. Lack of movement forces veins to work harder to pump blood back to the heart.

Although it’s difficult to completely prevent varicose veins due to their hereditary nature, you can do several things to decrease your chances of getting them, including losing weight if you’re overweight, quitting smoking if you’re a smoker, and avoiding standing for long periods of time. Most important during the winter months is to get regular exercise. Get a gym membership or participate in indoor sports, such as basketball or racquetball. Find an indoor track or shopping mall and go walking with a friend. Or do a workout video at home.

While winter can make varicose veins worse, it is also a great time to get them treated. Many doctors will recommend that patients wear compression stockings before and after varicose vein treatment to boost blood circulation by applying pressure to the veins of the calves and ankles. Many people are more willing to wear compression stockings in the winter, when they offer warmth and protection against the cold, rather than in the hot summer months, when they are difficult to tolerate.

Varicose vein treatment can provide quick relief of symptoms, such as throbbing, aching, and cramping; however, changes in the physical appearance of the veins may take longer to achieve. Treating varicose veins in winter allows you sufficient time to heal and to begin seeing noticeable improvement in the appearance of your legs before warm months (and shorts and swimsuit seasons!) arrive.

Some patients may also need more than one treatment, so the earlier you begin your treatment plan, the more likely you are to achieve beneficial results before spring and summer come around.

If you’re suffering from the discomfort of varicose veins, now is the perfect time to seek treatment. Vein Center of Indiana, serving the greater Indianapolis area, is a leading provider in the treatment and removal of varicose and spider veins.