How much medical care does society owe Americans that they could not otherwise afford? It’s not a philosophical question, such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. This question plays out every day.
…is to test new ways of paying for and delivering health-care services in federal health programs through pilot programs called “models.” These models are required by law to reduce costs and/or improve quality of care, which they pursue by enacting major policy changes.
Many states have passed laws limiting prior authorization. Physicians hate prior authorization and claim insurers and health plans use it to ration care. I tend to be more sympathetic to prior authorization because in an industry where patients are insulated from the cost of their care, there needs to be some checks and balances over unnecessary care and care that is unnecessarily expensive. I often tell the story about the time my wife unknowingly tried to schedule a CT scan at a hospital outpatient clinic near our house.
Have you ever consulted Dr. Google? When I first began researching Internet-based medicine 25 years ago everyone was amazed that something like 100 million people per year were searching the Internet for health information. It is hard to overstate the importance of the Internet to learn more about one’s own health conditions. In the early days doctors hated it. Articles appeared in medical journals lamenting all the misinformation patients would encounter and the waste of doctors’ time discussing or refuting what their patients found. Looking back these fears seem ludicrous. Respected health care systems, like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, sponsor websites that provide basic but useful information about health and medicine.