One Reason Why Sickcare Is Outrageously Expensive: Needless Scans/Tests
(November 18, 2014)
Add easy profits from needless tests to defensive medicine and no cost controls or real competition, and we have the perfect formula for waste, fraud, profiteering, bad medicine and dysfunctional, unaffordable healthcare.
Why is sickcare (a.k.a. "healthcare") absurdly unaffordable in America? There are many structural reasons which I have covered in depth for years, but one that most of us can relate to from personal experience is needless, hyper-costly scans and tests.
Even those of us who have never had a CT or MRI scan (and I hope I never will) know the drill from friends and family: practically every injury is now scanned by one device or another at enormous expense--not for treatment, as M.D. Ishabaka explains, but as defensive medicine to ward off future lawsuits or in response to patient demands.
Ishabaka (M.D.) walks us through the maze of CT and MRI by using his own injuries and treatments as examples of how our system has become unaffordable and ineffective.
"When I first got into the hospital as a medical student in 1977, MRI scanners did not exist, and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal had the first CT scanner in Canada. A scan took an hour, and the images were blurry as heck, compared to modern scanners which take a few minutes and produce crystal clear images - but it was MAGNIFICENT.
Thank you, Ishabaka, for the detailed explanation. I should also add that scans costing thousands of dollars each in the U.S. are available in other countries with the exact same machines for a fraction of the cost in the U.S.
As I noted in Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation--And Soon (March 21, 2011), Pittsburgh has as many MRI machines as the entire nation of Canada.
Why is this so? Studies have found that a doctor who owns his own machine is four times as likely to order a scan as a doctor who doesn't. Garsh, I wonder why.
Add easy profits from needless tests to defensive medicine and no cost controls or
real competition, and we have the perfect formula for waste, fraud, profiteering,
bad medicine and dysfunctional, unaffordable healthcare.
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