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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Health Care Myths

In the mid 1990s I started adding a factoid to the informational pamphlet I produced for CHI (Creating Health Institute).   It was not a new fact but on that I had been aware of for a long time.  In reviewing information about this new book, that piece of information is still true now, just as it was then and in preceeding years.

That piece of information, according to a study completed at the Harvard School of Public Health, tells us that just 20% of medical care in use is effective.

As Big PhRMA grabs profits first and leaves your health at risk, while Big Insurance tells doctors  and other providers what care you are allowed to have, we can truly see why health care in the US ranks so low (37).

Health Care Myth

"In America, there is no guarantee that any individual will receive high-quality care for any particular health problem. The healthcare industry is plagued with overutilization of  services, underutilization of services and errors in  healthcare practice." 

– Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, Rand Corporation researcher, and colleagues. (Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD; Steven M. Asch, MD, MPH; et al. "The Quality of Healthcare Delivered to Adults in the United States," New England Journal of Medicine 2003;348:2635-2645.)
Why we rank low in healthcare

Questioning the unquestionable
The problem is that physicians don't know what they're doing. That is how David Eddy, MD, PhD, a healthcare economist and senior advisor for health policy and management for Kaiser Permanente, put the problem in a Business Week cover story about how much of healthcare delivery is not based on science. Plenty of proof backs up Eddy's glib-sounding remark.

The plain fact is that many clinical decisions made by physicians appear to be arbitrary, uncertain and variable. Reams of research point to the same finding: physicians looking at the same thing will disagree with each other, or even with themselves, from 10 percent to 50 percent of the time during virtually every aspect of the medical-care process—from taking a medical history to doing a physical examination, reading a laboratory test, performing a pathological diagnosis and recommending a treatment. Physician judgment is highly variable.
You can get better care but you do have to demand it.  To demand it you have to know the "right" questions to ask and you have to know your rights in health care.

For 20 years CHI has been offering numerous programs in the community and corporate wellness programs, as well as college sponsored workshops addressing these problems.  The programs we developed especially for senior citizens were always SRO.

Learning more about exactly what's happening in health care is important.  And learning what you can do to prevent most health concerns is CHI's primary focus.  Natural Health Care Education from an expert who just happens to be a health care professional is what you'll find when you sponsor one of our programs or workshops in your area.

1 comment:

Stormy Knight said...

Health care education is so important- not only to help protect you from the large holes in most Dr.s knowledge but from the large amount of bamboozling in the alternative health industry. I'm a big believer in everyone needs to understand health care because they are the one who suffers when it fails.