Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Insurance? Different Protocol.

Doctors treat patients who lack health insurance differently than patients who are insured, a major new study finds.


For example, the uninsured are much more likely to get two generic medications instead of one easier-to-take brand-name drug. Or, they might be prescribed a cheaper generic drug that must be taken longer than a pricier brand-name version

Cheaper as in more affordable. Not necessarily less effective.

Both of these prescribing decisions make it harder for uninsured patients to stick to their medications as needed, experts warned


Well excuse me! Just go ahead and order up the more expensive med they cannot afford.

What am I missing here?

According to the survey, 88 percent of the doctors made at least one change in their patients' clinical management due to his or her insurance status. Overall, physicians changed management strategies for 99 of 409 patients. Nearly two-thirds (62.6 percent) of the time, doctors discussed insurance issues with patients and made changes based on insurance status

I believe this would be considered not only practical but sensitive to the needs (and ability) of the patient.

uninsured patients often have trouble getting timely appointments with specialists, Mendoza said. In those cases, "I continue to take care of them even though I want them to see a specialist," he said. "I do the best I can -- as a primary care physician -- to take care of their specialty needs. That can definitely compromise care."

This is called compassion.

Marcus Welby is alive & doing well.
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