Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Adding Ads and the ACA

You may have noticed that I added an ad towards the bottom of the page, on the right. I've been toying with the idea of using Google's Adsense for a while but I was reluctant to do so for a couple reasons.

1. I wasn't sure I wanted to monetize the blog at all. It's not a comfortable idea for me, selling out.

2. I couldn't figure out from Google's description how much control I'd have over the ads that did show up.

Incidentally, for the most part, I'm a big fan of Google. I think some of the things they do are amazing, if creepily intrusive. But I find their help pages incomprehensible, and I invariably end up Googling another source of information for answers. Ironically.

But the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already significantly impacted my income. I'm down quite a bit from last year.

In New York, at least, none of the insurances you can get on the exchanges has any out-of-network coverage. There are some groups that are working on this problem, but for now, that's how it is. So I haven't gotten as many new patients as previously because people want to stay in-network. Several of my ongoing patients have lost coverage and need to cut back on frequency, and/or have reduced fees. Some patients have stopped treatment with me entirely. I try to be flexible, but sometimes there's nothing you can do.

That's why another income stream is looking pretty appealing. I don't see the Obamacare effect abating any time soon. And I devote quite a bit of time to the blog. So I decided to conduct a little Adsense experiment.

I put the ad down at the bottom on the right, not all the way, but almost. I feel like that's visible but not terribly intrusive. In the future, I may move it further up on the page, but I'll have to see how I feel about it.

I keep checking ads to see if I find anything offensive or inappropriate. Like this:

It turns out, there are categories of ads, and you have a limit of 50 categories that you can block across the board. I tried to get rid of egregious things like pharmaceutical ads. But you can't block everything. What you can do, is if you find a particular ad offensive, you can copy the URL and tell Adsense about it, although I've forgotten where I saw that and I'd have to look up how to do it.

There are also sensitive categories, like get-rich-quick and sexuality, and you can block as many of those as you like, in addition to the other 50.

What I haven't figured out how to do, and maybe it can't be done, is to tell Lord Google which ads I especially would like. I'll have to look into that further.

If you're really offended by my ads, please let me know, and I will take that under serious consideration. Thus far, it looks like I'm on a roll-I seem to have earned a total of 2 cents.

And part of the agreement with Google is that I can't click on any ads myself, nor can I encourage others to click on ads just to help me out. So if you're actually interested in the content of an ad, go ahead and click on it, but otherwise, don't.

Now I want to make a comment about comments.

I recently discovered, based on communications about a recent post, that I hadn't been getting my comments notifications for several months. I think I've fixed the technical problem, and I've gone back and published those comments that I missed that weren't offensive or spam. So if you wrote a comment and didn't see it published, I apologize. If you check back now, it's probably there.

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