Online Health Chat with Holly Thacker, MD
March 11, 2014
Whether you’re a busy executive with a 60-hour work week or a mom who is busy putting your family’s needs first, you can’t afford to neglect your health. CustomFit Physicals for Women provide a uniquely personalized healthcare service that offers a comprehensive set of evaluations and an individual plan of action based on your results—in just one day.
Your CustomFit experience starts with a call to a women’s health expert who is a registered nurse. After discussing your medical history, health concerns, and lifestyle, your nurse will consult with Center for Specialized Women’s Health physicians to recommend a set of evaluations tailored to your needs. Your nurse will schedule your examinations in succession to optimize your time during your visit.
You will enjoy a private waiting room during any downtime during your exam, and also other amenities from refreshments to a robe and slippers to relax in. Before you leave, you’ll have a complete picture of your health and a personalized take-home plan to improve your wellness and reduce risks.
Learn all about the program and why this personalized service and its convenience is a value with a $1,000 out-of-pocket fee.
About the Speaker
Holly Thacker, MD, is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, and the founder of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health, within the ObGyn & Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Thacker completed her internal medicine residency and medical internship at Cleveland Clinic after completing medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, in Kansas City, Mo.
Dr. Thacker’s specialty interests include breast cancer risk assessment, hormone therapy, menopause and related medical problems, menstrual disorders and interdisciplinary women's health, osteoporosis, menopause and women's health. She currently sees patients at Cleveland Clinic main campus.
Let’s Chat About CustomFit Physicals for Women
Your Unique CustomFit Physical
ab573353: What is different about a CustomFit Physical vs. a physical performed by my primary care physician or OB/GYN?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: With the typical annual physical that you would schedule with your personal physician, you come in for baseline testing. During your exam or conversations with your physician, there may be findings of additional screenings or testing that you may need. Those screenings or tests would need to be scheduled at another time—perhaps even another day. With CustomFit a discussion with the nurse prior to your appointment would highlight the potential need for screenings or tests, and would be scheduled the same day of your exam. The physician performing your CustomFit Physical is trained in both internal medicine and gynecology/menopause.
Devin: What is a typical CustomFit Physical and what makes it special or different?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: There is no 'typical' CustomFit experience as every person's day will be tailored to individual needs. The experience starts with a phone call directly with the health advocate, Mary McDonnell, RN. She will discuss your current state of health and any other health concerns. In addition, the CustomFit physician will be available to review your medical records prior to your appointment, if you provide them to our nurse advocate.
The physical exam involving our CustomFit women's health specialists will also be reviewed. Depending on your age, symptoms, screenings, and risks, your appointments will be coordinated for the day of the exam to maximize your time spent here.
The morning of your exam, you will be met at the Front Desk of the Center for Specialized Women's Health (A10) on Cleveland Clinic's main campus by the nurse and escorted to a conference room where there is coffee, a light breakfast, Wi-Fi, and robe and slippers (which are yours to keep) waiting for you. Fasting for blood work first thing in the morning is not necessary. The CustomFit exam day schedule will be reviewed and assistance with the medical questionnaire (if not already completed) will be provided.
Once you are in the examination room, you will the CustomFit physician, our women's health specialists who will do an overall history of you and your family. After our women's health specialist completes the assessment and exam, the nurse will return to take you back to the conference room. All findings discovered during your exam by our women's health specialist will be reviewed with you. If any additional appointments are needed, our nurse advocate will coordinate and refer for that appointment.
Finally, you will be assisted with creating a MyChart® account, which will allow you to retrieve test results. The phone number for the nurse is provided for questions. In a few days she will call you to discuss how you are doing, and see if other appointments need to be scheduled.
SoccorMom: I have never heard or been asked by my physician about sexual dysfunction? How is that assessed during the CustomFit physical?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Evaluations for sexual dysfunction are part of the CustomFit Physical if this is a concern of yours. Our Center has expertise in treating sexual dysfunction. In fact, by the end of March, we will be offering a device that helps treat orgasmic function in women. Here is a link to a guide that discusses sexual dysfunction and treatment options: www.clevelandclinic.org/lp/menopause-sexual-health/index.html.
Kat: How long does the CustomFit physical take?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Your CustomFit Physical will take at least two hours, but the total length of your visit will depend on the additional customized testing you require.
Physical Exam and Screenings Assessed with CustomFit Physical
LadeDa: Please describe the basic physical of CustomFit Physical and then what type of individual tests may be added that I could do the same day?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Baseline physicals include a detailed physical exam, basic laboratory testing, pelvic exam, breast exam, breast cancer risk assessment, and hormone assessment. Additional exams that may also be recommended for you include: mammogram, thyroid (TSH) test, cervical pap smear, cholesterol screening and complete lipid profile, bone density test, personalized genetic assessment, body fat, nutritional analysis and counseling, body scan, physical therapy and or exercise consultation, echo stress test, and aesthetic skin care services. It may be possible to coordinate additional testing for the same day. However, some testing may need to be done at another time.
Lindy: I am assuming that all of my blood tests will be done that day. Will I still need to fast prior to the physical? What if it is late in the day?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: We will assess what labs you may need prior to your visit. If fasting is required, we will advise you.
KHS: Does a CustomFit Physical only assess women's-related illnesses, or can it pinpoint other problem areas for assessment? How specific is it? Would a referral be made to the appropriate department in case something unusual is found—or is the physical and laboratory work only for women's health issues and general health areas, such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: The CustomFit Physical exam assesses women's-related illnesses and also can pinpoint other problem areas for assessment. For example, thyroid, diabetes, bladder disorders, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, cancer risk assessments, and health maintenance, such as age specific immunizations. Yes, if problems are found that require additional specialties, appropriate referrals will be made.
claire: Can I get a mammogram the same day?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Yes, if you are due for a mammogram and have an order for a screening mammogram.
natalie42: Do I still need an annual exam if I come in for a CustomFit Physical?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: No, everything you receive in an annual physical will happen during your CustomFit Physical exam, and possibly additional services as needed.
sweetie: What happens if I am referred to another physician for an illness discovered on Custom Fit Physicals? Is the CustomFit physician still involved after that—and does she continue to order the appropriate tests? How does that work—who ends up coordinating my care?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Our nurse advocate will help facilitate referrals and appointments for additional services needed. If you are referred to a specialist for a problem, that specialist will manage that specific problem.
What Does the Fee Cover?
ab573353: What does the $1,000 fee cover?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: The $1,000 fee covers early access to our women’s health expert, Mary McDonnell, RN. Prior to your appointment a phone call is made to discuss the state of your current health and any concerns you may have. Information gathered during the conversation is reviewed with a CustomFit physician to determine what additional tests—outside of the baseline—should be ordered for you prior to your arrival for your physical. Tests are scheduled in the most efficient manner possible to maximize your time spent here.
The fee also covers valet parking and the use of our private waiting room during your day of exams. A robe and slippers are yours to keep; healthy refreshments and Wi-Fi will be available during your stay. At the end of your day, additional screenings, follow-up appointments, or consultations that are still required will be arranged.
Insurance and Healthcare Spending Account Coverage
lizard: Do I need a referral or authorization for services from my insurance company?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Authorizations and referrals may be required by your insurance company depending on the individual program requirements. This needs to be discussed with your insurance company.
Molbe: Is insurance billed for the services and can I use a HSA (healthcare spending account) to pay for the $1,000 fee?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Insurance will be billed for services and procedures. Whatever insurance does not cover, the patient is responsible to pay. Each individual HSA plan is unique. You need to check with your individual HSA plan to see if the $1000 fee will be covered. If your HSA card has a Mastercard® or Visa® logo on it, we will accept it for payment.
rambofro: Why isn't this complete physical covered under health insurance policies? I thought that preventative care such as a woman's annual complete physical was mandated by “Obamacare” (ACA, or Affordable Care Act) to be covered in all policies as of January 1, 2014.
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: The actual clinical care for the physical follows the mandate based on your insurance plan. The $1,000 fee covers a personal consultation with a nurse prior to the appointment and customized access services with the nurse advocate that we have outlined in, “What the $1,000 fee covers”. Patients need to confirm with their insurance plan whether or not annuals are covered as preventive care.
Cleveland Clinic Campus Locations with CustomFit Physical
alina: Which Cleveland Clinic locations offer CustomFit Physical?
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Currently, CustomFit Physical is offered at the Center for Specialized Women's Health located on main campus. Stay tuned for services that may be provided at our Cleveland Clinic West Palm Beach.
Moderator: I am sorry to say that we are at the end of our chat. We appreciate your participation and hope you will join us for other chat topics in the future. Thank you, Dr. Thacker, for sharing your expertise and answering questions today.
Holly_L._Thacker,_MD: Thank you for all of your questions today. Please contact us if you are interested in this program.
To make an appointment for a CustomFit Physical, please call 216.445.7600 or toll free 800.223.2273, ext. 57600. You can also visit us online at www.clevelandclinic.org/womenshealth.
For More Information
On Women’s Health Conditions
For more information on specific gynecological health conditions, please read the following treatment guides:
Holly Thacker, MD is the author of the book, The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Menopause, which is available for purchase at: www.amazon.com/Cleveland-Clinic-Guide-Menopause-Guides/dp/1427799709/
On Cleveland Clinic
The Center for Specialized Women’s Health, within the ObGyn & Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic uses an interdisciplinary approach in which physicians with different medical specialties, nurses, and other allied health professionals collaborate on patient care, the center has become a model for women’s healthcare and education.
In addition to CustomFit Physicals and wellness exams, professionals within the Center for Specialized Women's Health offer a variety of services, including evaluation and/or treatment of:
- Peri- and post- menopausal concerns
- Hormonal concerns and menopausal hormone therapy including “bio-identical” hormones
- Osteoporosis including bone density and treatments which include yearly infusion therapy
- Uterine Fibroids and hysterectomy alternatives including UFE and endometrial ablations
- Urinary incontinence/urine leakage
- Urinary tract infections/bladder symptoms
- Sexually transmitted infections and vaginitis
- Female Sexual dysfunction
- Breast cancer risk assessment and breast concerns
- Cervical disease including HPV, colposcopy and LEEP
- Obesity management for women
Women can access routine cancer screenings and information on cardiovascular disease prevention.
Several Cleveland Clinic staff members have participated in the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Certified Menopause Practitioner Program (NCMP), a competency examination program to set the standards for menopause practices, and to assist women in locating clinicians who could provide optimal menopause-related health care.
Cleveland Clinic's gynecology program is ranked third in the nation by U.S.News & World Report and top-ranked in Ohio.
On Your Health
MyChart®: Your Personal Health Connection, is a secure, online health management tool that connects Cleveland Clinic patients with their personalized health information. All you need is access to a computer. For more information about MyChart®, call toll-free at 866.915.3383 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A remote second opinion may also be requested from Cleveland Clinic through the secure Cleveland Clinic MyConsult® website. To request a remote second opinion, visit eclevelandclinic.org/myConsult.
If you need more information, click here to contact us, chat online or call the Center for Consumer Health Information at 216.444.3771 or toll-free at 800.223.2272 ext. 43771 to speak with a Health Educator. We would be happy to help you. Let us know if you want us to let you know about future web chat events!
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