Have you completed BasicMed?

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Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by John Hamilton on Apr 28, 2017 9:13 am

Has anyone completed the online course, and been to see their doctor?  Tell us about your experience.
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Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Reney Gothreaux on Jun 5, 2017 12:24 pm

Greetings John and All, Would anyone know of a comprehensive listing of physicians that are practicing Basic Med per state? I just completed my "annual" third class with a special issuance because of some hypertension. This year, I went through the ringer with two Bruce stress tests, letter from my cardiologist, blood testing for the usual cholesterol, and a new required Glucose test. I have been going to the same AME since I student piloted in 2005. I brought up the subject of Basic Med with him and he basically told me that he was NEVER if ever going to honor that because since living in the great state of Louisiana he suffers from "F.O.B.S." --Fear of Being SUED! --He told me point blank that he does not think the FAA will have his back if something should happen. In Louisiana one can sue anytime for anything and everything. And lately the television commercials for lawyers are outnumbering the car commercials. The lawyer commercials are promising more ($) payouts than all the casinos we have in this state! Seems the odds are better in Louisiana if one sues than going place bets at the casinos. Anyway, back to my situation. I made a huge mistake three years ago by walking into a hospital emergency room feeling a bit odd and telling them that I may be having heart issues. BIG MISTAKE, for what was a bit of hypertension set off the chain of events of having an angiogram and yearly visits to a cardiologist. All that for the low rate of about $ 25,000.00 worth of testing. This makes me now having to prove every year to the FAA that I am fit to fly even though I am examined every year by a cardiologist, whom surely does not want anything to do with FAA, AME's and Basic Med (by the way, this last qualifying exam, without insurance, would have put me out about $ 2,040.00). I did not have a heart attack at the time of my hospital visit and the angiogram results showed very little blockage, which is now being treated with the usual medicines. I own my plane, a Piper PA28-180, and fly about 20 hours a year when I have the time! Funny thing is I drive 60 hours a year to get to the plane in order to fly it (And please DO NOT EVER agree to let the general driving public get flying cars!!! But that is another issue!). So, maybe we and AOPA can survey the physicians in every state to find out just who honors Basic Med? I followed the congressional fight throughout the process and believe AOPA knows more about the Congressmen regarding the process than the "State License Physicians" that can make it work? It would be nice if I can find both type physicians in the same group that work together to actually help keep me flying without all the required fitness "fits" that go with it.

Regards,
Reney Gothreaux
AOPA Member - 05130596
Owner - N55827

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Carl Hauge on Jun 5, 2017 11:50 pm

Rest easy there Reney, things aren't nearly as dire as they seem. I think that I can say without much fear of contradiction that my state, CA, is one of the most letigious in the union.
You need to download AOPAs Physician's Guide for Basic Med. It explains to your physician that the Basic Med checklist that he/she will check off is no more detailed or different than a regular annual checkup.
Any medical doctor licensed by your state is qualified to perform the checkup. You should not need further testing for your hypertension if there has been no change in your condition. No more special issusnces unless you want to return to the AME to renew your 3rd class, but each year that gets to be more a roll of the dice.
I had a brief 20 min episode of AFib in 2008. After extensive testing my cardiologisttold me that there was no problem with my heart, andsince my AFib had resolved itself there was no further treatment required. Two years later my then doctor's offic sent the FAA a notification that I had AFib. Then things got nasty. Took me almost 5 years to convince FAA that I wasn't dying. Still flying and current. 
Easy to understand why some AMEs are upset. Basic Med takes away money they have gotten used to.
Hang in there!

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Edward Figuli on Jun 6, 2017 12:43 pm

Yuppers.  I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a few years ago and got my Special Issuance.  The initial documentation wasn't fun (I can think of other words to describe it) but I was able to get it done.  Since then I've had to go back with all the proper documentation and submit it within 30 days of the III Class Medical.  That in itself was a problem with the timing.  And a pain in the (another word).  I gave my doctor the AOPA guide and allowed him to review it before deciding on whether or not to do it.  He declined but I was able to find another doctor that did DOT physicals that agreed.  We discussed my condition and in 30 minutes I was out the door.  The only thing he was concerned about was the "anus" part of the exam.  He had no idea what to check with that other to suggest that I keep up with my exams with my family doctor.  This is probably the most important thing that AOPA did for me personally since I joined back in 1990.  

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jun 12, 2017 9:38 am

Dennis Thrasher:
I don't think the medical ed course counts unless taken after your physical exam date.
Dennis Thrasher MD

Dennis is correct -- you can't get the course completion certificate until you have done the checklist with your physician and s/he has signed it.  But the course is still of great value even if you're not participating in BasicMed -- it's an outstanding review of all the medical things every pilot should consider before each and every flight.

Trying, but out of luck so far

Posted by Trevor Stroup on Jul 27, 2017 5:27 am

I have closely followed the BasicMed legislation as I've been diagnosed with Diabetes and Sleep Apnea since my last 2nd class medical in 2011 and was wary of the annual special issuance process and the limbo it puts you in each year knowing whether or not you are going to pass.  I was extremely excited when BasicMed passed and the date finally arrived allowing my Dr. to sign off on my health authorizing me to fly.  I discussedthis with my Dr and he told me to bring in the paperwork when it's formalized and we'd discuss it.  I sent in the paperwork and links to the Q&A for physicians and upon examination of the forms, he said he wouldn't be able to sign it off.  He said that he didn't have the confidence to answer the question about his evaluation of my fitness to fly.  I then went to an AME who also refused to sign off the paperwork because, "this is a four year sign off and I can't say you will be healthy for 4 years".  Needless to say, I'm extremely frustrated with the whole ordeal.  I've spent hundreds of dollars on exams and nobody is willing to sign me off even though all of my medical issues are controlled and static.  I'm now at a loss as to where to go from here.  Based on this legislation passing, I have put myself into a financial situation to finally allow myself to purchase an airplane and had almost done it a week before running into all these issues with the AME refusing to follow BasicMed.  Everything I'd heard about this new program was so positive but upon deeper examination, physicians don't seem to want to follow the program.  In retrospect, I think the AME was against this program from the start.  He had nothing good to say about it and kept trying to stear me to the SI route.  

Re: Trying, but out of luck so far

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 27, 2017 9:31 am

Trevor Stroup:
I sent in the paperwork and links to the Q&A for physicians and upon examination of the forms, he said he wouldn't be able to sign it off.  He said that he didn't have the confidence to answer the question about his evaluation of my fitness to fly.  I then went to an AME who also refused to sign off the paperwork because, "this is a four year sign off and I can't say you will be healthy for 4 years".  ... I've spent hundreds of dollars on exams and nobody is willing to sign me off even though all of my medical issues are controlled and static.  I'm now at a loss as to where to go from here.  ...  

This is exactly the sort of response from a physician many of us feared when Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) pushed the checklist/physician signature requirement into Senator Inhofe's originally excellent bill (all you Californians remember this when she's up for reelection next year).  All I can suggest is to keep trying different physicians to see if you can find one who'll sign.  You might ask around the airport to see whether any local pilots have any suggestions on who to try.

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Rick Davis on Jul 28, 2017 4:33 pm

I took the course with AOPA and then went to my normal AME for the exam. Super simple and much easier to see my AME than my primary care physician. We spent more time talking about pilots we know and airplanes than doing the examination. 

Now I just need an excuse to visit with my AME.

Rick