New Cancer Screening Recomendations

The news has been filled with talk about the new cancer recommendations.  Now the experts are recommending fewer screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer.  Mostly there have been questions of who is behind the change.  Is it the health insurance companies wanting to save money?

There was a good article in the LA times this weekend which points out that there are many different results from cancer screening, and not all are good.  http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-screenings21-2009nov21,0,6713570.story

When should you screen?  Who should screen?  Who should pay for the screening?

Right now the debate is on health care.  It is not just a matter of getting health insurance for everyone.  This insurance is going to cost the insurance companies more (and us as a result) if they pay for more screenings more often.  Also false positives cost the insurance companies (and us) more for more tests and treatments.  Should the doctors, and medical equipment manufactures make the screening less expensive so people can make their own choice rather than what the insurance companies decide?

I have heard Doctors talk about all the years they invested in education as justification that they should make less money.

Do the pharmaceutical companies make more money than they need?  Do they encourage extra use of their drug?

Do we expect too much from the doctors and are quick to bring suite?

S many questions and few answers.

 

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Health Care cost crisis or Health Insurance Crisis

In the US is Congress trying to address a crisis in the cost of health care or addressing the cost of health insurance.

Is health insurance part of the cost of health care crisis?

Recently there are many ads on TV for scooter for the medicare recipients, the message I hear is it’s free why not get yours.  I see people with oxygen everywhere, would they sell as much oxygen therapy if it was not free (paid by insurance).

It seems to me that a generation ago, when health insurance was not as common, people had to make decisions on whether they really needed to see a doctor.  Doctors needed to make a decision on how they could treat the patient for what they could afford.  Now it seems easier to see the doctor for frivolous reasons, and doctors to just doctors to prescribe the latest drug or surgery, because the insurance will pay for it.  There can be this big disconnect, the insurance will pay for it so you might as well get it done.  There are probably some that did not get treatment when they really could have been helped by the treatment, but are there those that are getting treatment when there is a less expensive treatment or they can have good health without the treatment.  Dr Loren Stuart seems to have a different solution than get health insurance for everyone. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2008/04/23/heroes.lorna.stuart.cnn

It is a big problem I do not have the solution.  I think we need to keep looking for the solution.