Preservation of Confidential Health Care for Young Adults

An interesting article titled “Health Reform and the Preservation of Confidential Health Care for Young Adults” written by Lauren Slive and Ryan Cramer appears in the Summer 2012 issue of the The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (vol. 40, issue 2, pages 383-390). A discussion is made regarding how sometimes when getting health care services confidential information can be inadvertently disclosed. If a breach of confidentiality can occur then a minor or young adult may not seek the health care services. The authors state “Of primary concern is that young adults, not just minors, who remain on their parents health insurance plans often forgo sensitive services with the concern that explanation of benefits (EOBs) from such services will inform their parents, the policyholders.” In addition, of note and some may not be aware of, with the passage of the Affordable … Read more

Medical School Student Costs in the U.S. are Affecting Mental Health

A research letter titled “U.S. Medical Students’ Health Insurance Coverage for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association  vol. 306, no.9, pages 931-933, in September 7, 2011, and written by Rachel Nardin and et al. discusses how medical students are often sleep-deprived, depressed, and have thoughts of suicide. This can lead to lack of empathy for their patients and contribute to additional medical errors once they graduate. It can also lead to substance abuse. Even so these medical students are not being adequately treated for their psychiatric disorder or substance abuse due to wanting to avoid adding additional costs to their already substantial debt from school. It is a fact that about 50% of those with a serious mental disorder also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. The study looked at health insurance offered … Read more

Haggling With Doctors: Lower the Cost of Your Medical Bills

Consumer Reports has recently put out an article by John Santa M.D., M.P.H. titled “How to haggle with your doctor” published in September 2011 and located at http://www.consumerreports.org/health/doctors-hospitals/how-to-haggle-with-your-doctor/overview/index.htm The article recommends that if you are healthy you talk to your doctor about costs. Dr. Santa touches on the fact that some doctors will pursue more aggressive treatment options due to perhaps financial motivations and because of fear of being sued. There is a focus on looking over your hospital bill to make sure everything you were billed for was done and priced properly and inspect for any possible errors. In addition, Dr. Santa recommends that if you are having an elective procedure that you take time to conduct a lot of research on different providers and options that may be available. Dr. Santa went on the NBC Today Show recently in … Read more

Physicians for A National Health Program

While I have linked to the Physicians for a National Health Program before I don’t think I have discussed their website and ideals in any significant way. For those not familiar Physicians for a National Health Program abbreviated PNHP says they are at the “forefront of research and action for a single-payer national health program.” This is for the United States. The website features articles of interest that are updated daily. For example a recent article posted is titled “Forum probes health care.” In the article there is a quote by Nick Egnatz, an activitist, “There’s something wrong with a system that doesn’t take care of everyone.” PNHP also features a blog that is also updated quite frequently with posts of interest. Much of the site that is updated daily is managed by PNHP’s Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne, … Read more