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Tag Archives: health policy

Defensive Medicine

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Here’s a cute exchange from my facebook wall on defensive medicine.

Me: If I ever get sick, please let the docs practice defensive medicine.

Lauren: What’s defensive medicine?

Me: Let’s say there is a .1% chance I have a very treatable brain cancer and a 99.9% chance I just have a headache. The doc doesn’t think it’s that big a risk that I have cancer so they send me home on advil. Then I die. Sucks to be me.

If the doc was practicing “defensive medicine” he would have given me an MRI. Even though he didn’t think I had the brain cancer, he would give me the scan because he was worried he’d get sued.

Health policy folks get all worked up about defensive medicine because it is supposedly adding too much cost and should be gotten rid of.

For what I pay for my health insurance, copay, etc—- give me the scan. I earned it.

Rick: LOL  at this. There is a difference between a simple headache and headache with other symptoms that point to a neurological pathology. Don’t oversimplify.

Me: It’s a Facebook wall. It was designed for oversimplification of all of life’s Truths.

Rick: Well-played;) Didn’t get that memo.

Ridiculous Case

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The New York Times reports on a very disturbing case in Texas.  A doctor allegedly engaged in all sorts of malpractice.  When a nurse reported him to the medical board, she lost her job and he kept his.  Sad but not that surprising.  What’s surprising is that she is now being prosecuted for reporting him even though investigators and hospital administrators admit that the doctor engaged in malpractice.

The prosecutor claims that she was trying to diminish his reputation.  Really? It’s not like she went to the newspaper.  She reported him to the medical board who could then open an investigation on their own.  Hopefully this prosecutor will wake up and drop the charges.  Nurses should always feel free to report unsafe behavior.