Month: October 2015

Understanding What You Pay For

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Many health insurance plans will see double-digit rate increases this year. Whether it’s Obamacare or employer-based commercial insurance, it doesn’t really matter. Your monthly premium will likely go up. Even if your employer pays it for you, your deductible will probably skyrocket yet again.

People want you to believe that YOU are finally paying for healthcare.

And, it’s a lie.

You are not.

You are paying for insurance.

And, until you understand the difference, you will never understand the problem.

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Feeling the Pressure

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bp

It has occurred to me that this is a terrible idea.

In fact, it’s possibly the least beneficial thing for the general health of a population to have gained momentum in recent years. I’m not discussing cigarettes or e-cigarettes or low-yield cancer screening procedures. I’m not talking about diet drinks or sugary drinks.

I’m talking about home blood pressure monitoring.

It’s a terrible idea.

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All Aboard!

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Overdiagnosis.

We are told this is a problem.

It occurs when the bar is lowered for what’s considered a real disease. For example, overdiagnosis presumably exists when we incidentally discover slow-growing cancers in older people. Basically, when we find a cancer that may not kill someone sooner than Father Time. And, as the story goes, we treat the cancer with lots of medicines, tests, and therapies–since the more diseases we diagnose in American medicine, the more treatments we recommend, and the more money we make, right?

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The Butterfly Effect on Me

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butterfly

After reading my latest post about conflicts of interest in healthcare, my wife suggested that I write a piece about butterflies. Something pretty, she said. Natural. Peaceful.

Since hostility is never my goal, I thought I’d give it a try.

I read for an entire evening on butterflies–their life cycle, behavior, mechanisms for protection, and how different cultures view them. All I could keep thinking about was how much my grandmother liked them. She lived for nature. Flowers. Birds. Butterflies. She stayed with me once as a child when my parents were out of town. She would literally drive only 10 MPH on the road if anything remotely beautiful were visible out the window. Butterflies included. During her visit that year, I intentionally directed her down the ugliest roads in town so we could get to where we were going more quickly. I know it sounds bad, but that’s what I did.

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Emptying the Talent

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Nobody is waiting to hear your opinion.

People are not on the edge of their seat anticipating what you might say.

We often think we have an audience. But, the theater is frequently empty. People are looking for popcorn elsewhere. They are not waiting on your masterpiece.

Now, usually, this doesn’t stop us from putting on a show. People are actually hired all the time to give their opinion. All the time. Billions of dollars are spent on opinions. Some of this money comes from tax-payers. In fact, in medicine, it seems as if a degree in public health is all that’s required to provide advice.

Knowledge of time and place regarding the delivery of healthcare is not needed to wage an opinion about it. Just form a committee or an institution. Schedule a meeting. Advocate public protection or patient safety. Tell people what to fear, proclaim purity in your quest, and you’re off and running. You will probably even get funding from somebody. Maybe, it will be our government if your opinion advocates a need for more medical regulations to come from it.

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