The traditional way to communicate one’s wishes is through an advance directive, and a growing number of Americans have...Read more
More Medical Care May Not Be Better Care
- March 2nd, 2003
More medical care does not necessarily mean better care for Medicare patients, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Health care researchers know that patients are likelier to receive more care in some areas of the country than in others. In some regions, particularly those with more hospitals and specialists, patients see more specialists, are more likely to be hospitalized, and have more tests and minor procedures done. You might think that this extra care would result in a longer and better-quality life. Not so, according to the study, which found that Medicare patients being treated for serious conditions in the highest-spending regions showed no evidence of living longer or having higher levels of patient satisfaction than those treated in lower-cost areas.
In fact, Medicare enrollees in higher-spending areas were slightly less likely to get certain recommended follow-up care like aspirin for heart attack patients, the study found. The study''s lead researcher, Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, speculated that this may be because of confusion resulting from being treated by multiple specialists. "If there are five specialists involved in your care, each one is going to be slightly less likely to take responsibility for your care"--and more likely to think "another doctor has prescribed aspirin," said Fisher.
The study concludes that with more restraint on the part of physicians, "savings of up to 30 percent of Medicare spending might be possible." Although the researchers recommended caution in making cuts, Fisher said that "one of the things I hope comes out of our study is a willingness to question whether a more intensive practice or intervention is in our interests." .
To read an article on the study in the Los Angeles Times, click here. (Article may be only temporarily available.)
To read abstracts of the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, click on http://www.annals.org/issues/v138n4/abs/200302180-00006.html and http://www.annals.org/issues/v138n4/abs/200302180-00007.html
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
Farr Law Firm
In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...