Those who market heart scan services should be more careful about what they promote and to whom.
When ProPublica’s Marshall Allen got a telemarketing offer for heart scans for him and his wife, he followed up with a story, “Body Imaging Business Pushes Scans Many Don’t Need – Including Me.”
Reminding Allen about the deaths of figure skater Sergei Grinkov, baseball player Darryl Kile, newsman Tim Russert and actor Patrick Swayze, the salesman said:
“You never know when it could happen. … Boom, you’re dead!” he exclaimed, slapping a desk for emphasis.
But Allen tells another story – of complaints by patients and regulators about the business.
“In the last two years, Heart Check America has made similar pitches to tens of thousands of Americans in five states, bringing in about $30 million in sales revenue, according to its manager, David Haddad.
But recently, the company has come under fire from patients, regulators and medical experts.
In scores of consumer complaints, Heart Check America clients have accused the company of using pressure sales tactics inappropriate for a health-care company.”
Read the whole story. We wish more journalists would tell the story of how screening tests are not always as life-saving as they are made to appear on the surface in marketing and promotions.
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*