Unnecessary medical procedures cost more than money — 2 Comments

  1. One problem I’ve observed is that my primary physician doesn’t check me over, as my old-time family physician did. Little, if any, hands-on exam. Doesn’t check my abdomen, extremities, etc. I realize they have more computer documenting to do, but don’t you think that a lot of the tests are done because they no longer do a good physical exam? Quality family practioners are in the past for most of us.

    • Absolutely! The comprehensive annual exam where your physician listened to your heart and lungs, palpated your abdomen, checked your eyes, nose, ears and throat, did a pelvic or prostate exam, and checked for skin lesions is gone. It’s been replaced by the “wellness visit” which is little more than an opportunity to plug you into screening exams and check a lot of little data-gathering boxes required by the federal government (such as drug use, alcohol use, sexual habits, etc.) And because of frequent provider changes due to narrowing networks or doctors leaving practice, we no longer have solid relationships with our physicians; doctors who know our history and which tests make the most sense for our personal health history goals and values. It’s become “one size fits all” medicine, which has led to overuse, overtreatment and overspending. Now the burden is on us, the patients, to be more informed and ask more questions and even refuse care if we don’t understand why it’s necessary. It’s not good healthcare, but we’ve been forced to have “more skin in the game” and are expected to be able to make these judgments. Haha, obviously this is something I feel passionate about! I appreciate your comment 🙂 Best, FN