I am smacking myself on the forehead and saying, “Why didn’t I think of this?” Dr. Richard Parker, Medical Director at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has sent out a list to his physician colleagues of 56 common medical tests and procedures. What is revolutionary is that there are prices next to each item. You non-physicians may be surprised to know that we doctors have no idea what the tests or drugs we order actually cost. Unless we get billed as a patient, we are as clueless as you are.
As I wrote before, the ostrich excuse just won’t fly any more. We all need to be aware of the cost of care and have skin in the game. Some will argue that price can’t be the only driver. I’ve heard physicians say you can’t compare one price to another because “quality” costs more. I say prove it. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
It’s Wednesday, so I would like to tell you about some cool things I learned this past week about the science of how exercise can be used as a treatment for three common ailments.
First, some background about exercise: The great thing about exercising every day that you eat is that this magic potion is not a shot or a pill. It does not involve a doctor burning or squishing anything in your body. There are no HIPAA forms, no insurance pre-certifications, and not even a co-pay. It’s as we say, easy and free. And drum roll please…exercise is active—not passive.
Here’s the Mandrola take on how exercise might treat three specific medical conditions: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
Dori Carlson, O.D.
In a recent interview with the president of the American Optometric Association (AOA), Dr. Dori Carlson, I learned the surprising statistic that about 1 in 4 school age children have an undetected or undiagnosed vision problem. School vision screenings, while helpful, still miss more than 75% of these problems. And for those kids who are discovered to have a vision problem during a school screening, upwards of 40% receive no follow up after the diagnosis. Clearly, we need to do better at diagnosing and treating childhood visual deficits. My full conversation with Dr. Carlson can be listened to below:
Dr. Carlson told me that the solution involves Read more »
Sometime around 1998 in the Texas Medical Center:
DrV: (enters exam room) Hey, How are you? I’m Bryan Vartabedian (extends hand).
Father: (arms crossed, smiling, leaning against wall) Oh I know who you are, Doc. And I know where you went to school, where you’ve lived, if you’ve been sued and a few other things. And I’m fine, by the way.
DrV: Um, Okay. (Shakes hands with father. Looking to child, scruffing his hair). And this must be Caleb.
An odd moment, for sure. When it happened I didn’t know what it was about. After similar encounters I understood. It was about where patients found themselves in the early days of the information revolution. And there was the father who wheeled into the exam room two large boxes of printouts perched on a dolly. Inkjet validation of his role in the decision about his son’s surgery.
These situations illustrate Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*
It’s not just about money – Americans Face Barriers to Health Care Beyond Cost. A study released recently in Health Services Research found that while financial concerns prevent 18% of Americans from getting needed health care, more Americans – 21% – delay health care for nonfinancial reasons. These barriers include getting to the doctor, getting a timely appointment and taking time out of other responsibilities. Lead author Jeffrey Kullgren, M.D. adds what he believes is the crux of the issue: “We need to think about how to organize the existing resources we have in ways that are going to improve access to care.”
In Would You Lie to Your Own Doctor?, Connie Midey of The Arizona Republic reports on a common practice that can “compromise [doctors'] ability to diagnose and treat patients effectively.” The reason? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*