Public health and patient protection should come before company profit. And this week the FDA has taken a welcome stand to protect public health by insisting that what is clearly a medical service be regulated as such.
If you're 30, you may not notice. But if you're my age, tell me honestly you don't see a difference. Want to replace fee-for service? Go ahead. I'm for anything that works, as long as it doesn't turn off quality youngsters from wanting to be doctors.
During the fiscal year of 2010, self-referrals amounted to over $109 million dollars in extra payments from Medicare, which equates to approximately 400,000 diagnostic imaging examinations for seemingly arbitrary purposes.
Self-referral leads to more images, more treatment, more surgeries, etc., and contributes to the escalation in the unsustainable rising health-care costs. It is a vicious cycle. So why not just eliminate self-referral?
My husband, who had open heart surgery in 2006, recently stumbled on uneven pavement. His fall led led to X-rays, blood work an EKG and countless other tests with the recommendation that he then head over to the ER for a CAT Scan "just to be sure." Just to be sure of what?
Shouldn't we be focusing on preventative health care instead of discouraging patients to see their doctor annually? Aside from the unnecessary tests, over-prescribed medications and needless scans, what's so wrong with fostering this basic human interaction?
Make your standard of care better than standard. Be a good boss -- ask good questions, get good answers. By doing so, you can help ensure that you and your doctor are always diligent, and choosing wisely -- together.
What are the performance characteristics of a test? This term refers broadly to how reliably a test finds what it is looking for, and how reliably it finds only what it is looking for without mistakenly sounding an unnecessary alarm.