Have you Received a BetterDoctor Request to Verify Your Provider Directory Information?

California physicians, if you’ve heard from us, we want to hear from you!

Federal and state laws require doctors to update information about themselves and their practice for each health plan with whom they contract. Failure to do so may result in penalties that range from removal from health plan directories to termination of health plan participation. This post answers frequently asked questions about provider directories, your role as physicians in keeping them updated, and how BetterDoctor can help.


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The Top 10 Apps Improving Doctors’ Lives

The Top 10 Apps Improving Doctors’ Lives

Incredible apps and companies that are working to make your life easier, and patient care better

Practicing medicine in 2015 can be both really rewarding and really difficult. Medicine has been changing incredibly quickly over the past few years, and with short patient visit times, loads of paperwork, intense work schedules, some shrinking wages and ever more demanding patients – it’s a lot for any doctor to handle.


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The Ironman who runs on fat, not sugar

Sami Inkinen

If you’ve ever wondered how it feels like to be rowing for six weeks out in the ocean without support or setting your feet on land even once, here’s your answer.

It’s like being in space.

That’s what Sami Inkinen, co-founder and former president of the real estate website Trulia, also an Ironman and Triathlon World Champion in his age group, says. He finished the Fat Chance Row from San Francisco to Hawaii with his wife Meredith Loring in August “to test marriage, fight against sugar and break records.”

While they were rowing day in, day out, the company he started was sold to Zillow for $3.5 billion. When he heard the deal was done, he high-fived Loring and went back to rowing.

The stunt was a success: the couple had no previous rowing experience, and they’re still married. They raised awareness and over $200,000 for the fight against sugar. Inkinen says they both returned “surprisingly healthy,” but he did lose 26 pounds of muscle mass.

“When you’re on a boat for that long, you’re in a weightless state, kind of like an astronaut. You lose some of the strength in the muscles you use to walk and do basic things. It took over five weeks to get back the muscle mass that’s needed to exercise like I do.”

What makes a smart, sane person go out on a dangerous adventure like that?

An athlete’s wake-up call

A few years ago, as a winning athlete and successful entrepreneur, Sami Inkinen should have been a prime example of energetic and healthy.

However, the reality was something else.

The more he exercised, the harder it became to control his weight. He kept gaining pounds – and it wasn’t just muscle.

“It sounds completely crazy,” Inkinen says. “People used to comment that I could probably eat anything I wanted because I exercised an hour or two a day, plus a five-hour bike ride on the weekends. I would laugh because that was not the case at all.”

He tried to rationalize the phenomenon by saying to himself that maybe the weight is hard to keep normal because his body is just overcompensating for all the energy he loses while exercising, and then he ends up eating too much.

“I was hungry all the time. It felt like being on a diet constantly, and I had really bad cravings. There was also a lot of inflammation in my body and I was having infections. There was always a sore throat, a painful achilles heel or something else, so I was taking painkillers almost every day. They were clear signals that everything was not right.”

He didn’t know it might have to do with what he was eating until he started testing his blood sugar.

“I was completely brainwashed to believe that as long as you avoid eating a lot of fat, especially saturated fat, it’s easy to keep your weight in check and body fat low as an athlete. I believed it was the healthiest possible diet to have. I believed that cholesterol was enemy number one, and that these were simply facts. I only started testing my levels because I wanted to find out what kind of food I should be eating during exercise to reach the highest possible energy level and performance.”

Inkinen began to take his blood sugar levels while cycling, measuring them every five minutes on his bike in the morning before breakfast. He was up for a surprise.

“I hopped on my bicycle and measured my blood sugar every five minutes while biking in the morning before breakfast. That’s when I noticed that I was basically pre-diabetic.”

That was a wake up call for Sami Inkinen.

He started doing research on how it was possible to be an athlete, eat healthy, and still be pre-diabetic.

“Most of the food I ate then was low fat diet food: a lot of yoghurts with zero percent fat, but loaded with added sugar,” he says. “When I started really digging into what was going on, reading books and articles about nutrition and talking to doctors, I quickly caught up and realized I had been on the wrong track all along. And so is 99 percent of Americans.”

Burning fat, not sugar





Sami Inkinen


Photo credit: Senja Larsen (portraits), Fat Chance Row

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4 Baby Sleep Hacks: Get Your Baby To Sleep 10 Hours A Night By 2 Months

The first weeks after bringing a baby back from the hospital are full of excitement, happiness and wonder. But after couple of months, the initial dreamy state transforms into routines, and parents start to think of the future.

We had made the decision to breastfeed our baby boy for the first 6 months, but the constant lack of sleep started to take a toll on my wife. It was frustrating to notice that I could do little to help as she was the sole food supply and needed to feed the baby 9 times a day. We asked ourselves, how can we survive without sleep? Is there a way to get our baby boy to sleep better? What can we do differently? We found Suzy Giordano’s book Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success to be a great resource to start baby “sleep hacking.”


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7 Steps to Picking the Best Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician can be a daunting task for parents. This doctor will likely be involved in their child’s life for 18 years. BetterDoctor has created a 7-variable, data-driven algorithm to determine doctor quality based on factors like medical school quality, referrals from other doctors and years of experience. While this is a good starting point, there are other factors that determine whether a pediatrician is a good fit for your family.

We put together a list of tips to choosing the best pediatrician from those who know best: doctors themselves. (more…)

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Baby Care 101

On December 11, 2014, my wife and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  We were humbled and amazed by our baby boy, but as first-time parents, we needed to spend hours researching online and asking friends and family how to best care for our baby.

We decided to take the research we’re doing on our journey and share it with you for yours.  Our Baby Care 101 Guide answers the questions that every new parents asks.  Check out our articles below. (more…)

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The 7 Best Baby Tech Gadgets for New Parents

My wife and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy just one month ago.  We’re bringing the research we do to you in our series on newborn baby care.

I worked in the unit that launched the first smartphone Nokia N95 in 2006. None of us in the team had any idea that the advent of the smartphone would completely change our lives. Over the last 8 years, smartphones have changed how we communicate, work and play, and now the technology is entering into parenting.  It has been really exciting to explore the different baby tech products. (more…)

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10 Baby-Friendly Brunch Restaurants in San Francisco

Since my wife and I just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, I’m taking the research we’re doing on our journey and sharing it with you for yours.  This is the third in our series on newborn baby care.

Many people lock themselves at home after having a baby to make sure their newborn won’t get sick. This makes sense as the baby’s immune system is weak and takes months to develop, but staying at home for weeks can be stressful for new active parents. (more…)

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How to Calm your Baby

On December 11, 2014, my wife and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  We researched various methods to keep our baby happy and healthy, and we looked into ways to calm down little Max and reduce his crying.  This led us to Dr. Karp, assistant professor of pediatrics at UCLA and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, who has popularized a concept of 4th trimester.  After testing his tactics on our newborn son, we achieved impressive results. (more…)

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