Sunday, August 16, 2009

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, in America in the early 1990's, a woman, a mother in her early 50's, was dying of cancer. She had advanced cancer, she must have not received timely or effective screening services (LACK OF PREVENTIVE SERVICES -- mebbe).

She likely received chemotherapy, toxic nasty stuff, still her best hope. Her oncologists did their best. Why would they not?

She suffered . Her son watched as she did. He watched as she died.

Yes, she did die (BAD OUTCOME). Sad.

The cost for her care? lots! Costs of medicine (greedy pharmaceuticals) hospital care, physician fees (greedy doctors) surely significant. Outcome no good, she died.

The son thinks about this result. Why should there BE payment for a bad outcome? Makes little sense to him. Her son is grieving as he should. Still, he's facing a big bill. Pre-existing issues involved. Unpleasant experience.

The son is incensed. He does not forget this horrible experience. It' s his mother! She raised him. His father had already abandoned him/them when he (the boy) was very young -- his father went back to Kenya.

Please understand -- this effort towards the socialization of American Medicine is most definitely personal.

Stolen from DermDoc and American Thinker

“All I'm saying is let's take the example of something like diabetes, one of—a disease that's skyrocketing, partly because of obesity, partly because it's not treated as effectively as it could be. Right now if we paid a family—if a family care physician works with his or her patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get reimbursed a pittance. But if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000—immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. Well, why not make sure that we're also reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation, right? That will save us money.

So changing reimbursement rates will help. The other thing that will really help both nurses and doctors, helping pay for medical education for those who are willing to go into primary care. And that's something that we already started to do under the Recovery Act, and we want to do more of that under health care reform.”

A very wise man from a while back speaks-out on this topic:

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