Unnece$$ary health care, who ever heard of $uch a thing?

Who wants a medical test unless it is absolutely necessary, would any doctor order a test just to placate a patient (or make money), would a patient ask for a specific prescription drug because they saw it advertised on television?  Of course not you say, well the truth is that up to 30% of all health care is unnecessary and all of the above things do happen. 

But doc, I swallowed that button when I was six.

Now the question is why.  Fear of being sued comes to mind, but it is more than that.  Americans have become conditioned to think more is always better and coupled with near total insulation from the cost, hey why not another MRI…just to be sure.  There is the array of technology at our disposal, somebody paid for it and it has to be used, the more we have the more we use.  But it is even more than that.  When you have an MRI or a scan or some other test, the chances are they will find something. Often that something is not significant and without the test you would live with it without further incident not even knowing it exists, but now that you do know it is there, well now you may end up in the system and more care is prescribed. 

We know we have a problem with over utilization and now we are adding thirty million more people to the covered insurance roles with the increased demand that goes along with it, and you think we are going to control health care costs.

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times   Law May Do Little to Help Curb Unnecessary Care

One comment

  1. I can attest to this one. My Grandfather, Grandmother and Mother all died of colon cancer; him in the late ’80s, my Mother and Grandmother in 2007. needless to say, I wanted regular screening for the disease. I had my first screening in 2005, and nothing was found but benign polyps, which were scrapped. Then I was told that the new standard for screenings was every 5 years, not 3, as Mother had had, AND SHE HAD DIED FROM IT! Needless to say, I was somewhat upset, as obviously there is a gene at work here. And Mother had lived a pretty clean lifestyle, exercising regularly, eating right, etc.

    Rather than scream at the medical establishment, however, I did some homework, made some lifestyle changes of my own (no heavy alcohol, plenty of fiber, etc.). Yes, it is possible I will contract the disease eventually (everyone else mentioned got it in their mid-late ’70s), so I still have 15 years or so before my odds start to get bad. But I consider MYSELF to be the first line of defense against disease, not my DOCTOR. Common sense suggests that it is more cost-effective and less life-disruptive to prevent something than it is to fix it once you get it. Also, there is NO history of this on my Father’s side of the family. This year, I will have my next colon screening, and I will find out if I’m on the right track or not, but at least I have not spent the past 5 years living in fear because I couldn’t get a test as fast as I wanted to.


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