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Medicine and medical care: Is more better?

Is it a myth that taking more medications or receiving more medical care is better for your health? If you've had to seek compensation or are in the process of considering filing a claim for compensation for medical errors you've been exposed to, then you may feel like you want to avoid hospitals or doctors at all costs. Is that the answer to reducing risk?

You shouldn't have to fear going to the doctor. Maryland has decided to test a new kind of payment system for Medicare insurance, which pays hospitals a fixed amount per patient instead of per procedure. What can that do for patients? It may make doctors and nurses take a harder look at patients, instead of ordering numerous tests that may not be necessary.

According to the article, the experiment has led to infections, surgical errors, and other conditions caused by exposure to hospitals and medical care dropping by a shocking 26 percent. That certainly challenges the idea that more medical care equals better health overall.

There's no question that modern medicine is a necessity; that doesn't mean more is always better, though. Medical overuse, which is a term used by the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and others, could be a problem in the current medical society.

What is it, though? It's a term that recognizes that some surgeries and treatments still given to patients today may not be the best course of medicine. For instance, sometimes a blood transfusion could be worse for a patient, but if a manual calls for it, it will still be performed. Is that fair to the patient? No, and it could make him or her feel worse.

Doctors tend to be paid per test or per visit, which means that they could prescribe more of what a patient wants instead of what a patient needs. That means more money going to the doctor or hospital and more tests being given to patients. Medicine isn't meant to be about money though; it should be about keeping patients healthy.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "The myth of more medicine and better health," Dan Morgan, accessed Feb. 17, 2016

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