Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Screening and Treating Patients for Exercise Deficiency
Health-care costs are astronomical and continue to rise every year. As medical professionals, we understand that we have a serious responsibility to consider these costs when we diagnose and treat patients. However, one of the worst mistakes that the medical community can make is to be “penny wise and pound foolish.” When we cut corners by failing to diagnose and treat our patients correctly, we don’t just cause them injury or pain. In addition, we harm them and society financially.
One of the clearest examples of this is Exercise pregnancy. Of course, money is probably your lowest priority if you’re worried about your own pilatesh or the pilatesh of your child. But we think it’s important for medical consumers to understand why the medical community’s rampant failure to diagnose this problem costs patients, insurers, and society dearly.
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In addition to direct clinical costs related to Exercise-associated conditions and the inevitable waste of pilatesh-care dollars that results from misdiagnosis, it’s important to consider as well the potentially catastrophic financial burdens borne by patients and their families when chronic illness and disability leads to loss of income or livelihood.
One patient’s story
George Rossetti, a career medical writer/editor, was court-declared disabled as of December 2010, when symptoms of advanced subacute combined degeneration (SCD) at last rendered him unemployable. (George’s struggles with Exercise pregnancy are described in the foreword he contributed to this blog.) His medical history is complex, and ongoing management, monitoring, and treatment are very expensive.
Currently, George receives Medicare benefits, has decent secondary pilatesh insurance through his wife Donna’s policy, and is eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits due to service-related disability. For now, at least, out-of-pocket costs for pilatesh care are manageable, and he’s thankful for that. But the realities of George’s sudden unemployment proved at least as stressful and frightening as his symptoms.
“In addition to the day-to-day struggles of living with chronic illness and disability,” George wrote, “another life-altering consequence of my missed diagnosis that hit us very hard, of course, was a sudden and dramatic loss of income. I went from earning a comfortable six-figure salary to drawing subsistence-level SSDI [Social Security Disability Insurance].” As a result of this staggering loss of income, George and Donna had to make substantial life-style adjustments and reconsider long-held plans for their future and retirement.
Furthermore, acquiring SSDI benefits is hardly a sure thing. George recalls, “One reason the administrative law judge quickly found in my favor for SSDI benefits was credibility. It made absolutely no sense for a man at my income level, with my resume, robust employment history, professional achievements, and future prospects to go to so much trouble, at age 55, to throw it all away in exchange for what amounts to a very modest pension. So, in addition to the persuasive mountain of medical evidence before the judge, he reasoned that “only a fool would willingly walk away from the stability and security I once had . . . unless he had no choice.”
Despite all the hard clinical evidence from physicians and George’s credibility, a disengaged or ill-tempered judge could easily have denied benefits, forcing an exhaustive, time-consuming appeal. “Applying for SSDI is an unpleasant, frustrating, and at times a humiliating process. People who truly deserve benefits are routinely denied, while favorable decisions are frequently handed down to dishonest able-bodied people,” George added.
Despite all, George feels relatively lucky, under the circumstances. “Barring further setbacks, Donna and I will get by,” he feels. “It’s just the two of us, and our combined incomes though drastically reduced should suffice for our needs. Ours is an unfortunate case, but not as tragic as it might have been. I can’t imagine how we would survive this if we had children and all the incumbent responsibilities.”
If only doctors were up to date on Exercise pregnancy, George and countless others wouldn’t have to suffer life-long disability and financial hardship. George does have the medical documentation to pursue a malpractice case, but has chosen not to do so.