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A Time for Dying

submitted by: admin on 05/08/2015
Dealing with death and dying is a very important issue. For some this is an overwhelming problem and for others it can be a time to make peace with what is happening. We need to come to terms with our situation and make important decisions about how we're going to deal with many challenging issues. Dying people need help with psychospiritual issues as well...

Americans Distrust the Medical Profession

submitted by: admin on 05/12/2015
A Harvard study that was published in the October issue of the NEJM, documented that Americans are considerably less trusting of the medical profession compared to people in most other industrialized countries. Low income Americans are the worst hit and are three times less likely to skip doctor visits, fill prescriptions, or obtain tests, treatment, and follow...

Are Preventive Drugs Cost Effective?

submitted by: admin on 05/19/2015
Experts published in the British Medical Journal that there's serious doubt that the use of drugs to prevent diseases such as high cholesterol, osteoporosis and osteopenia, and hypertension are cost effective. In the case of Lipitor, it costs approximately $600,000 to prevent a single heart attack and still not save a single life when used for primary prevention....

Assessing Hospital Quality of Care

submitted by: admin on 09/18/2013
Avoidable readmissions to hospitalization is only one way of measuring quality of hospital care. While they often relate to physician judgment or lack of it, there are many other factors such as patient education about medicines and why they are necessary, administration of medications, social factors for supportive care, and financial matters.        

At What Age Should Children be Screened for Cholesterol?

submitted by: admin on 09/18/2013
  There are no studies defining when kids should be screened for cholesterol, yet there are accepted standards published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and published in the journal, Pediatrics, proclaiming that kids should be screened beginning at age 2 according to the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The reasoning for this...

Avastin: Good or Bad?

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
Avastin for breast cancer is controversial because it does not extend life or its quality and it is expensive. It costs $88,000 per year of treatment. There are conflicts of interest for the oncologists who make a profit from the chemotherapies they sell to their patients. Big pharma is insensitive to what this drug actually does; it is primarily interested in...

Baby's Breath, Garlic Breath, and now Cancer Breath

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
  A study published in the October issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology showed that breath testing could be used to distinguish between lung nodules that were cancerous from those that were benign. Volatile organic compounds in the breath of people with lung cancer could be identified using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. This is a much...

Better Pain Management Can Shorten Hospital Stays

submitted by: admin on 09/22/2013
  An article in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in September of 2013 documented that pain relief after surgery from a local anesthetic in the region of the surgical scar led to earlier discharges. Patients going home the soonest after surgery had the lowest re-admission rates. While injecting a local anesthetic into the...

Big Pharma, The History of its Monopolization

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
There are 3 charges against Big Pharma. Patents give them a monopoly on a drug, the cost of advertizing is paid for by the consumer, and new unnecessary products are brought to market to renew patents.      

Breast Cancer Screening

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
Should mammograms be done on women under the age of 50? The BCDDP study published in 1983 is reviewed. Five of six biopsies are not cancers. Older data on breast biopsies that suggests they spread cancer; it was later shown to be false.    

Carotid Ultrasounds are a Business

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
How information is presented to a patient has a lot to do with what choices they make for treatment of carotid artery lesions. When subjects were given descriptively rather than statistically, they tended to choose surgical remedies. There are many screens for arteriosclerosis that lead to more surgical business. In asymptomatic patients the carotid ultrasound...

Comparison Shopping by Doctors Saves Hospital Costs

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
  Physicians are primarily concerned with providing the best laboratory tests and patient care possible, and cost is not a huge consideration. A study published in Internal Medicine in April of 2013 showed that if hospitals would post the cost of tests on lab requisitions that MDs would pay more attention to ordering fewer and less expensive tests. In...

Containing Health Care Costs

submitted by: admin on 07/17/2019
We spend too much money for what we get back in service, and our health care is rated only 37th in the world. End of life care uses half of all money spent on health care. MDs need to become involved in deciding how money is going to be spent on what. It takes a community of people to make a collaborative decision that is sensible.

Cost of Excessive Medical Testing

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
The American College of Physicians is creating guidelines to control overtesting and overtreatment. They estimate we spend $250 billion in unnecessary tests every year. Some of the reason is that MDs feel they need to practice defensive medicine, but there are also conflicts of interest related to investments they have made in purchasing medical testing equipment....

Cutting Health Care Costs

submitted by: admin on 07/17/2019
America spends 2.3 trillion dollars on health care and yet 46 million working Americans still do not have health insurance. The insurance industry only cares about profits. We need to consider a national insurance option for competition.

Defensive Practice in the Emergency Room

submitted by: admin on 07/17/2019
ER physicians are at particular risk for law suits and they tend to over-test people to protect them from making diagnostic errors; they don't know these patients. As a result this drives up the cost for health care.    

Digital Mammography

submitted by: admin on 09/19/2013
Do digital mammograms add much over conventional mammograms, especially for premenopausal women? How much radiation is saved? Are they safe in genetic forms of cancer? Are we finding too many cancers?      

Do We Need Virtual Colonoscopies?

submitted by: admin on 06/18/2016
  Is there a need for virtual colonoscopies? In fact, is there a need for any colonoscopies in asymptomatic people? There is a lot of controversy on this topic. The advantage of virtual colonoscopy is that it is easier for the patient, but it also delivers a hefty dose of radiation and often required a regular colonoscopy if there are abnormal findings.          

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

submitted by: admin on 11/08/2017
An article published in the January 2014 issue of Health Affairs reported on cost effectiveness of PepsiCo's workplace wellness program and reported that it had no significant value when it came to financial benefit or for cutting absenteeism, quitting smoking, or reducing weight. They went on to state that regular screening for early detection of diseases...

Do You Need a Brain Scan if You Have Headaches

submitted by: admin on 04/03/2014
According to an article out of the Univerity of Michigan Medical Center that was published in March of 2014 in the journal, Internal Medicine, we spend about a billion dollars a year for unnecessary brain scans (MRIs and CT scans) on people who have headaches. Their research showed that the incidence of brain tumors, brain aneurysms, and AV malformations...