Day 96

A month ago, I fell from a ladder and hurt my wrist badly. I couldn't tell if it was broken or sprained, so I looked online for everything I could find to figure things out. I learned that ice should be applied, no matter what, and that the situation would be more clear in a few days.

Without covid, I probably would have gone to the doctor and gotten an xray. I didn't do either. My wrist is slowly recovering (still hurts), and I'm wearing a brace I bought online for $16. I'll give it another month before I worry too much.

For another known ailment, I called my doctor and explained my symptoms. She prescribed a medicine I had taken previously, which I was able to pick up the same day. Problem solved.

One of my children is seeing a therapist using Zoom.

I canceled my annual physical which was scheduled for this week, thinking it'll be just fine if I put it off until next year. I'm not canceling my semi-annual skin cancer examination. Too much risk there.

All in all, I can personally vouch for the underlying logic of this article. Demand for health services seems to have risen in direct relation to the supply available. As we move forward to reopen our economy, here's hoping we can reopen in ways that are more thoughtful and efficient.

Perhaps Americans don’t require the volume of care that their doctors are used to providing.

It is well recognized that a substantial amount of health care in America is wasteful, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars of the total health care budget. Wasteful care is driven by many forces: “defensive” medicine by doctors trying to avoid lawsuits; a reluctance on the part of doctors and patients to accept diagnostic uncertainty (which leads to more tests); the exorbitant prices that American doctors and hospitals charge, at least compared to what is charged in other countries; a lack of consensus about which treatments are effective; and the pervasive belief that newer, more expensive technology is always better.

One of the most significant factors in wasteful health care is having too much supply of health care per capita in certain areas. In specialist-heavy Miami-Dade County, for example, Medicare spends more than twice per person what it spends in Santa Fe, N.M., largely because there is more per capita utilization of doctors’ services. Sadly, more care doesn’t always result in better outcomes.

Do you have an examples of how you've changed your use of health care services as a result of the Trump pandemic?

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Comments

Y'all stay safe out there

After falling from a ladder, I can tell you how quickly the tables can turn. One second you're fine, the next second you're on your back on the driveway with a gash on your head and a sprained/broken wrist. It can happen in a heartbeat.

I had a telehealth appointment

about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and I have yet to receive a billing statement. I'm kinda curious how much they will charge for this 15 minute phone call.

The irony of this situation: The people who have been going to annual (or semi) well-care physicals and such will probably be fine missing a few visits, because their blood has already been screened regularly and their health has been tweaked if needed. It's the ones who didn't go before who are greatly at risk, because the move from pre-diabetic to full-on diabetes can happen quickly. Not to mention cancer(s) and heart disease, etc.

Which (always) brings us back to expanding Medicaid. And that brings us back to the life-or-death necessity of taking the reigns of power away from NC Republicans.