PCOS: A More Convenient Model of Care

Almost 5 million women in the United States are dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal condition also known as PCOS. According to the CDC, “PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12% of US women of reproductive age.”

In addition to leading to infertility, PCOS can cause weight gain and other health problems. These symptoms can be difficult to manage and often cause frustration in the day-to-day lives of women suffering from this condition. There are treatments available to help patients manage their symptoms, but unfortunately, there is no cure. For this reason, it’s essential that these patients have access to doctors who understand the diagnosis and can properly aid with treating symptoms.

Patients deserve the best care for their condition – no matter where they live. That’s why Beam Healthcare provides a tele-endocrinology service line so more patients have access to specialists who understand their condition and stay up to date on the latest treatments. Beam is committed to providing quality healthcare in rural communities across the country with our hybrid model of care. Continue reading to learn more about PCOS, Beam’s Solution and our tele-endocrinologist Dr. Sapna Shah.

What is PCOS?

PCOS causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle, but with PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be. Patients deal with a variety of symptoms including irregular periods, excessive facial hair growth, acne, weight gain, mood swings, infertility, and more.

After experiencing irregular or missed periods accompanied by weight gain or acne, women seek out answers from their doctors. Doctors will order a blood test to check hormone levels, perform a physical exam, and do an ultrasound to check for cysts on the ovaries. From there, they often refer patients to an endocrinologist.

Endocrinology and Access

Endocrinologists elevate the level of care for women with PCOS, but these specialty services are often difficult to access. Rural clinics struggle to hire specialists and this leads to patients being referred out to metropolitan hospitals. Along with this comes long wait times, high costs and additional time and money spent traveling to and from appointments. This has led rural healthcare providers to look for solutions to address gaps in care.

Beam’s Healthcare Solution

Beam Healthcare is always looking to provide the patients and communities they serve with the highest quality care. Beam Healthcare is a telemedicine company that strives to bridge gaps in healthcare. Our telemedicine company has utilized technology to bring services to areas that normally go without.

The way medicine has shifted in the wake of the developments around telemedicine has provided numerous benefits for both patients and healthcare providers. Noticing that clinics need to provide specialists to increase quality of care, Beam has developed a hybrid model of care that provides tele-endocrinology at clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities using telemedicine.

Our Tele-Endocrinology Specialist

Dr. Sapna Shah is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. She attended Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in 2008 and completed her internal medicine residency training at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. She then completed three additional years of fellowship training in Endocrinology as well as her Master of Science degree at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.

Dr. Shah sees patients living with diabetes, PCOS, thyroid conditions, and certain cancers. One of Dr. Shah’s favorite parts about her work as an endocrinologist is the opportunity to meet with patients on a long-term basis, developing relationships with them and seeing their quality of life improve. Having worked in both traditional and telemedicine settings, she has noticed the positive impact that telemedicine can have in her practice and her patients’ lives.

Dr. Shah went live with patients this month at a rural clinic and is now meeting with patients via e-consults. With Beam’s hybrid model, the clinic will provide a nurse in the patient’s exam room to aid with the consultation. In this way, the patient receives the benefit of telemedicine without the hassle of technology.

Access a More Convenient Model of Care
PCOS is not a very well-understood condition, which leads to women going years without getting a diagnosis, and even after receiving a diagnosis patients are faced with finding the proper care. It’s not always the best option to receive care from one doctor.

Beam Healthcare provides tele-specialists so anyone can access specialty doctors wherever they live. For rural clinics, being able to offer specialty services boosts efficiency and allows their team to provide higher quality care to patients. Want to partner with Beam to expand your clinical services? Click here to contact the Beam Team today!

References
Grigorescu, Violanda, et al. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.” OASH, Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Serivces , 1 Apr. 2019, www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.

“Pcos (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Mar. 2020, www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html.

“Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Pcos): Symptoms, Causes, Tests, and Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/women/what-is-pcos.

Watson, Stephanie. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Pcos).” Healthline, Healthline Media, 19 Apr. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/polycystic-ovary-disease.

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