Medical Procedures

By Tashun Chism

With the New Year almost here, many East Texans are rushing to the hospital before their deductables expire.

Performed procedures range from respiratory treatment to CTs, MRIs, and mammograms. Doctors say end of the year deductables bring a lot of patients in during the holiday season, but that's not the only reason they come in this time of year.

"Mainly, because people have time off for the holidays, [and] kids are out of school. Some people take a lot of vacation time before the end of the year, so they're coming in for different procedures and tests," said Yana Ogletree, Marketing Director for Memorial Health System of East Texas.

"Winter hits East Texas pretty hard. Respiritory diseases go up. We're just not used to this kind of weather. We're not used to shocks of cold weather and warm weather, and it really does bad things to the respiritory system," said Dr. Brian Humphreys, an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Because of the influx of patients trying to meet their deductables, hospital officials recommend staying as healthy as possible towards the end of the year. They also have advice for those who are trying to meet their deductables but want to avoid last minute hassles.

"Patients should call their insurance in plenty of time to get pre-qualified for their surgery and try not to wait until the very end, because sometimes the physicians are so busy they might not be able to fit that procedure in," said Andrea Airhart, a nurse at Memorial hospital.

Doctors say they can work around insurance issues but say coming in prepared makes things go a lot smoother for them as well as their patients.