When medical care changes

It seems that every time there is a new direction set for health care or a change in recommended protocols there are skeptics and naysayers. 

Generally that is because any recommendation for less care, screening or prescription is in conflict with our more is better perception of health care. I recall that George Washington’s death was hastened because standard medical care at the time involved bleeding people so our views can change. I also recall the introduction of HMOs in the 1980s when any attempt to manage care was labeled skimping on care purely for profit.

I urge you to read this story from the New York Times. The subject matter itself is not important, but rather the way it describes the pros, cons and potential harm caused by health care we have been convinced was only a good thing.

Beyond the benefits/harm discussion there is also the cost/benefit discussion that is largely taboo in America but routine in other countries. Proponents of affordable single-payer health care should take note.


1 reply »

  1. Had such an experience. A little over two years ago, felt (and was) physically exhausted. Went to primary care doc. Found nothing. Stress test not indicated despite family history of heart disease – including both older sibs who presented at younger ages. He offered a voluntary (not paid by insurance) test. I paid my money, got really bad outcome, which justified stress test. Stress test showed nothing, but anomaly detected prior to stress test when hooked up, which justified looking for blockages. None found. Happy to hear it $30,000 later (only $4,000 of my money because spouse had previously satisfied deductible), the reset from my retiree plan

    No way of knowing … Was the $99 test a false positive, or a trigger for added, unnecessary spending? Or, was everything appropriate and necessary?

    I’ll never know. You pays your money, you takes your chances. It is called being human, and having human failings … Along with all the medical professionals.


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