Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Resetting expectations" about medicine

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, said doctor visits were down 4.7% in in 2011—and prescriptions declined by 1.1%.

I was just TODAY wondering whether I could go to the eye doctor—copay $35—this month.

At first, when this mess hit, people went to the doc—use it or lose it. Then, they reset their expectations as the mess persisted…and persisted…and may now be the norm.

Older Americans, in particular, are taking fewer meds. And when Medicare Advantage is gutted, will take fewer more still.

May experts say this has reached the tipping point. The cutbacks for older Americans are in BP and anti-cholesterol drugs—where you don’t get a bad reaction from quitting—just a bad outlook.
A number of new drugs came on the market last year—notably for Hep C, MS, and some cancers. Will people be able to afford them?

Guess we will see.

Before I keep an appointment, I ask myself what purpose it serves, whether I would do anything they said, whether I could AFFORD anything they said, then I decide.

Out here, it also means brushing up on your Spanish, Farsi, and Hindi.

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