On Thanksgiving day, while walking down a very uneven sidewalk toward the park with the grandchildren, Brenda tripped and fell. She broke her fall by stiff-arming the sidewalk. She bumped and scratched her face and badly bruised her hand. She shook off her injury and went on to the park!
The next day, after a short visit with her doctor, she went to a local hospital emergency room to have her hand checked out. After a lengthy wait and a couple of rounds of X-rays, she learned that no bones were broken. During the exam, the examining nurse practitioner (she never saw a physician) questioned her about the scratch on her face, finally suggesting an MRI to make sure there were no broken bones in her face. Brenda assured her that such a procedure was not necessary and that another X-ray would suffice, if even was really necessary.
She left glad to know that there were no broken bones and with her hand and arm wrapped up to the elbow. She also wondered if the attending staff was guilty of over prescribing treatment.
In a "fee for service" health care system like we now experience, her suspicions make a lot of sense.
Then, on Sunday morning, The Dallas Morning News carried a front page story on evidence-based medicine and cost sharing and the move of the Baylor Health Care System to such a strategy for providing care to its patients (by the way, the ER Brenda visited was not a Baylor hospital!).
No one wants to talk rationally about health care realities these days. But, in view of rising costs and our return in health and wellness benefits for what we pay, the time has come for serious discussions. From the report it sounds as if Baylor will lead the way in that much-needed conversation. Good for them!
Be sure and read the story, "Baylor will try new Rx," by clicking here.