Too many specialists
Our healthcare system is like an inverted pyramid.
Rather than having a strong base of primary care doctors—family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics—and a decreasing number of specialists, we have more and more specialists and
a dwindling number of primary care docs.
Roughly two thirds of our doctors are specialists. And subspecialists. And sub-subspecialists.
Why is that a problem?
One, because specialists cost more money, which adds …
read on A growing problem
Financial identity theft is when someone steals your credit card or debit card, or uses your personal information to take out a loan in your name.
Medical identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to fraudulently receive medical care and have it paid for by you or your insurance.
If that person is treated under your name, your finances, your medical history and your health …
read on Traditional and expensive
Over the next few weeks many families, mine included, will receive the dreaded letter from their health insurance company that tells them how much their premiums will be for 2019.
Last spring my insurance company applied for
a 29% rate hike. They settled for 19%. That still hurts. Especially because the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are going up, too. I really feel for other families receiving … read on The two main OTC pain relievers
If you browse pain relievers online, or walk down the pain relief aisle at the drug store, you see dozens of different boxes and bottles.
Their labels may promise to treat specific pains, such as headaches, back pain, migraines, menstrual cramps, arthritis or muscle aches.
But there are really only two types of pain relievers found over the counter: NSAIDs and acetaminophen.
Save money …
read on Overdiagnosis of melanoma
I learned two things from a recent journey into the healthcare system:
Melanomas are overdiagnosed; and Always discuss cost with your physician.
Earlier this summer
I shared that I had a small mole removed from my leg. I didn’t like the look of it, so I thought it prudent to have it checked out.
I had to wait almost a month for an answer, because …
read on Short-term health insurance plans are coming back
Is there anything about our healthcare system, especially the insurance market, that isn’t confusing?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) finally phased out most short-term health insurance plans last year, but
. last week the current administration changed the rules to bring them back
The cost of health insurance is really expensive for anyone who doesn’t have an employer-provided plan or doesn’t qualify for …
read on The Nanodropper—an innovative eyedropper
Drug companies will hate the Nanodropper. And that, of course, makes me like it. 😉
If you use expensive prescription eye drops, or want to hear about another way drug manufacturers squeeze money out of us, you may be interested in the Nanodropper.
Last year, the consumer watchdog group,
ProPublica, did a of drug companies using eyedroppers that … piece on the wasteful and costly practice read on A symptom of a broken system
A recent trip to my primary care physician highlighted one of my biggest complaints as a “healthcare consumer”: a complete lack of transparency about what things cost.
How are patients (I hate the word consumer) supposed to make thoughtful, cost-conscious decisions about healthcare when it’s impossible to know what any service costs before we buy?
Out-of-control costs is just a symptom of underlying illness. …
read on When will these double-digit increases stop?
OK, it’s June and that means it’s time for my annual rant about ever-increasing health insurance premiums.
In my state, Washington, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner just
. posted the proposed rate increases
Not in Washington? Use
to find the insurance commissioner in your state and search for rate increases. this interactive map
By law these requests have to be made public and …
read on Surprise medical bills can catch you by, well, surprise Bottom line on top: If you’re the victim of a surprise medical bill, there are resources to help you.
After several years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of us are resigned to high premiums, high deductibles and small provider networks.
We try to be good healthcare “consumers” (as if we really want to buy healthcare!) by reading the fine …