Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by xotoxi, Jul 28, 2009.
What is your take?
I suspect that the two reasons that you instituted this thread are:
1) you have a daily quota of threads, and
2) you are aware to the studies on this subject.
Sitting on my desk is an artilce in the June 25th Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, Pa.. which includes:
"Prevention is a good deal, some experts say, if you can buy one year of perfect health for less than $50,000. The most recommended efforts- like flu shots for adults, Pap smears for women and colon cancer screening for people over 50- meet the cutoff. But they certainly don't save money."
Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer
"Prevention instead of treatment? Nancy-Ann De Parle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said on March 23 that "we have to get to a system of keeping people well, rather than treating the sickness." That would make sense if all disease were behavior-related, but many cancers and other diseases are linked to genetics or unknown causes. De Parle's pronouncement echoes how Sir Michael Rawlins, a British health official, explains his nation's low cancer survival rates. The British National Health Service, he said, has to be fair to all patients, "not just the patients with macular degeneration or breast cancer or renal cancer. If we spend a lot of money on a few patients, we have less money to spend on everyone else. We are not trying to be unkind or cruel. We are trying to look after everybody."
This approach is deadly for those with serious illness. In the U.S., about 5 percent of the populace needs 50 percent of treatment dollars. The drumbeat for shifting resources from treatments to prevention should worry any family dealing with M.S., Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or cerebral palsy, or with a history of cancer. "
Defend Your Health Care
I think they should be encouraged and you should get one, I am greatly overdue for one now,they aren't very expensive and noone should really have to be encouraged and damn should not be forced in the "land of the free",imho.
I have had one every year for the last 15 years to keep my DOT certification.
Never once have they saved me a single dollar.
I wish I had went for yearly checkups when I was younger. I was never sick, so I never saw a doctor for twenty-five years. Then when I did go because my skin was turning yellow, I found out all could have been avoided had my condition been diagnosed when I was younger, all from a simple blood test.
The funny thing is though, had I gone for regular physicals and had the normal regimen of bloodwork done every few years, they never would have done the blood test I needed to spot my condition because it is not something they normally test for. All I needed was an iron test to check my blood iron, but this test is not routinely performed unless someone is considered to be anemic. My issue was that I had too much iron instead of not having enough. So in the end, even if I had gone, I probably never would have found out about my condition.
Are you agreeing with Carla Johnson's assessment, that screening for certain cancers do not save money?
If so, please show the evidence that the cost of performing screening Pap smears is more expensive then the cost of treating cervical cancer if no screening existed.
You take me by surprise when your posts are serious.
Ms. Johnson's article was much longer, and she certainly was not making the point that "cost of performing screening Pap smears is more expensive then the cost of treating cervical cancer if no screening existed...'
She was making the same overriding point that Ms. McCaughey made in the other item in the post made, that one cannot claim great saving along the order necessary for the funding of the healthcare bill under discussion by stressing 'prevention.'
The point is that there will be great funding requirements, far more than claimed by the administration, for Obamacare.
Indicative of the need for greater cost-cutting is this:
"Also slipped into the emergency stimulus legislation was substantial funding for a Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, comparative effectiveness research is generally code for limiting care based on the patient's age. "
Defend Your Health Care
"..Dr. David Blumenthal, a Harvard professor and key health advisor to President Obama, conceded that "government controls on health care spending are associated with longer waits for elective procedures and reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices."
Another key administration figure committed to cost cutting is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor in the Office of Management and Budget and brother of Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff. By far, the most dangerous misconception in Washington is that the way to rein in health spending is by slowing the development and use of new technology. Imagine any industry or nation thriving on such a philosophy. Dr. Emanuel criticizes Americans for being "enamored with technology."
And let's not forget the record of government officials' ability to estimate the cost of healthcare programs:
"In fact, every federal social program has cost far more than originally predicted. For instance, in 1967 the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that Medicare would cost $12 billion in 1990, a staggering $95 billion underestimate. Medicare first exceeded $12 billion in 1975. In 1965 federal actuaries figured the Medicare hospital program would end up running $9 billion in 1990. The cost was more than $66 billion.
In 1987 Congress estimated that the Medicaid Special Hospitals Subsidy would hit $100 million in 1992. The actual bill came to $11 billion. The initial costs of Medicare's kidney-dialysis program, passed in 1972, were more than twice projected levels.
The Congressional Budget Office doubled the estimated cost of Medicare's catastrophic insurance benefit subsequently repealed from $5.7 billion to $11.8 billion annually within the first year of its passage. The agency increased the projected cost of the skilled nursing benefit an astonishing sevenfold over roughly the same time frame, from $2.1 billion to $13.5 billion. And in 1935 a naive Congress predicted $3.5 billion in Social Security outlays in 1980, one-thirtieth the actual level of $105 billion.
Doug Bandow on Medicare on National Review Online
No, I am not claiming what you state, re: cervical cancer, nor is Ms. Johnson. Her sub-heading is "The truth, shockingly few prevention efforts actually save the healthcare system money overall..."
Not screening, but prevention.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the nationalized healthcare program of this administration will be a budget-buster, and it is disingenuous to suggest that 'prevention' will be a major money saver.
I choose the 3rd option.
Rather than dealing with the new health care 'reform' nonsense, seems a better use of the bully pulpit would be to address both insurance and gov't programs. Both should give really basic care-covered, without deductibles for CBC, pap smears, prostate exams, mammograms, and whatever tests tend to pick up impending disasters medically.
I'll be the first one here to say I've always had 'very good' insurance. If I go into hospital tomorrow, I'll owe very little. At the same time, my deductible is $800. I don't have that. Sooo, I've not had a mammogram or pap smear in over 10 years. Went through 'change' on my own, probably a good thing. Can't afford a bone density test.
Now if I get 'really sick' and hospitalized, all those will be done or shortly thereafter.
Shouldn't be like that.
Actually, my initial comment(s) were regarding preventive medicine in general, and not how it relates to nationalized healthcare. In particular, I thought of the post because I saw a patient who is new to Medicare and I told her essentially that she can say goodbye to her annual preventive visits because Medicare will have nothing to do with them.
However, the estimated cost of preventive care would be extremely easy to calculate. It would be cost of one physical exam, cholesterol panel, sugar, kidney, liver, anemia, thyroid, prostate or pap smear/mammogram, for each person once a year, plus colonoscopy every 10 years. I could come up with a total calculation for you, likely within a $billion. And that number would only increase if the population increased.
The savings would come when women who had never had mammograms were diagnosed with very early breast cancer requiring only a lumpectomy and nothing else, instead of being diagnosed very late requiring $millions of dollars of chemo, radiation, surgery, hospitalizations, nursing home, hospice care, and loss of work.
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