MedPage Today, a popular health news and policy website for health care professionals, polled a number of physicians and asked them “What is the one thing you wish you could say to your patients, but don’t?”
Here are the top ten:
- “If you continue to smoke, I wish you would see another physician.”
- “I wish I can just tell the prescription drug addicts to stop coming to the ED [emergency department] for their fix, and they aren’t fooling anyone.”
- “I really do care about you, but right at the moment you’re driving me crazy.”
- “Please tell your
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Recently, the US Public Health Service issued new recommendations to slightly lower the amount of fluoride that’s put in our community drinking water.
That’s because we have access to other sources of fluoride, mostly toothpaste and mouth rinses, so we don’t need as much in the water supply.
Since the early 1960s our tap water has been fluoridated, and the incidence of tooth decay has been significantly decreased. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hails community water fluoridation as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements… Continue reading
A group of researchers out of the University of Pittsburgh did an interesting study. They looked at over 400 magazine and TV ads for cancer treatment centers to see how marketers tried to attract patients.
What did they find?
Clinical advertisements by cancer centers frequently promote cancer therapy with emotional appeals that evoke hope and fear while rarely providing information about risks, benefits, costs, or insurance availability.
By far the most used phrases were about “hope, life, survival, extension of life, or cure.”
If you have cancer and want to find the “best” treatment, you might be attracted to … Continue reading
One of the premises of Obamacare was that if patients were expected to pay more towards their health care—have more “skin in the game”—they would shop around for the best prices and spend less.
I posted about how difficult, if not impossible, it is for patients to shop for health care. Prices are not as transparent as some policy makers would like to think.
Related post: Researching health care costs
A recent article in Kaiser Health News confirms this:
Douglas White knew high-deductible insurance is supposed to make patients feel the pain of medical prices and turn them
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Here we go again!
Every May, health insurance companies file their requests for premium increases for next year’s plans.
I’ve been watching my state’s website for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Rate increases for all health plans—group, small business, and individual (both on and off the health exchange)—are posted for public review and comment.
The insurance commissioner has until late summer to either approve, disapprove or modify the increase. Insurance companies are required to give their subscribers a 90-day notice of any premium increases.
My insurance company is asking for a 9.6% rate hike. Our family’s premium will go … Continue reading
Stories like this make me so angry: Cancer Charities Called $187 Million “Sham”
A group of family members whose charities claimed to be raising millions of dollars for cancer victims bilked donors to the tune of $187 million over five years, spending some of that money on fancy cars and trips for themselves and their friends, according to a civil suit.
The alleged fraud, which would be one of the largest-ever involving a charity, was detailed in a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It describes four connected groups, all with
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There is a new book I can’t wait to read: The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins.
The author wrote a preview of the book for Politico this week.
If you want to know what’s really happening in a medical building, don’t ask a doctor. Instead, turn to the best-informed, hardest-working and savviest professionals in health care: Nurses.
Many nurses call their profession—3.5 million strong in the United States and more than 20 million worldwide—a “secret club.” In the years I spent going behind the scenes in hospitals, I
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A friend of mine who is an avid reader of both The New Yorker and my blog sent me the following link: Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?
The author is Atul Gawande, MD, one of my favorite surgeon/writers. It’s a long article, but if you are interested in saving money on your health care (and possibly saving your health), I encourage you to take time to read it.
I have posted many times about America’s obsession with overtreatment—too many tests, too many specialists, too many … Continue reading
I just received an email from my insurance company, Premera Blue Cross.
Dear subscriber, talk to a real doctor anytime, anywhere!
Set up your account with Teladoc.
And get medical care anytime, anywhere for $40 or less.
You and your eligible dependents can now get care from U.S. board-certified doctors and pediatricians by phone or online video with Teladoc®.
A real doctor? I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to add that adjective.
But aside from that, I was intrigued by the idea that my insurance company wanted to support, even encourage, my family’s use of telemedicine, so I … Continue reading
I ran into an old acquaintance a few days ago. As we got caught up, he asked “Do you remember Michael?”
“Yes,” I replied. “But I haven’t seen him in years. How is he?”
“Wow, what happened?” I inquired. Michael was relatively young, in his forties. I thought perhaps an accident or a heart attack or cancer.
“Chaparral poisoning. It destroyed his liver.” Huh.
I had never heard of chaparral, but as soon as I’d finished chatting with my friend, I googled it.
Chaparral (aka larrea) is a shrub native to the southwest. It’s also known as the … Continue reading