With healthcare costs 18% of GDP and wastes in healthcare costs such as overtreatment escalating to heights over $130 billion, our society of convenience and demand to ‘fix me now’ may be causing more ‘harm than health’. We all want to cure what ails us, but most of us are ignorant to the fact that these quick cures may be causing more harm than good. A few years ago there was a fair amount of publicity around over-prescribing especially with the elderly population. It’s common to find an elderly person who takes at least a half dozen drugs without a proven review of the necessity of those drugs. When a person encounters a health issue, many don’t underestand WHY they are being treated with a specific treatment or procedure, if there are alternatives, and what the consequences are from both a health and financial perspective. They just trust that the treatment is the best decision for their health.
Are Our Healthcare Treatments Really Determined from an Unbiased Point of View?
Television commercials are filled with a number of medical treatments such as various drugs for chronic illnesses such as depression or Rheumatoid Arthritis. These come with many promises, however, if you pay attention long enough to the commercial it seems that there isn’t enough air space to list all the negative aspects of these drugs. Does the average viewer become numb to that messaging and only hear ‘there’s another pill that will make me feel better’? Additionally, what isn’t displayed in these ads is not explained when they are prescribed are the comparative facts and alternatives. Can anyone be assured that their healthcare treatments are being determined from an unbiased point of view and a significant review of the facts, let alone the financial implications?
In Steven Brill’s ground-breaking TIME Magazine article, The Bitter Pill. He explains, “Unlike those of almost any other area we can think of, the dynamics of the medical marketplace seem to be such that the advance of technology has made medical care more expensive, not less”.