Thursday, July 9, 2009

Prevention of Chronic Conditions Key to Healthcare Reform

Today's Fortune has an article saying that preventative care will not necessarily fix our health care budget problem. Much of the preventative care (health maintenance) today consists of minimizing complications of chronic diseases, such as eye exams for diabetics and statins for heart disease patients. These practices merely improve quality of life of patients and delay the inevitable, and increases our healthcare expenses.

Miller says, the key is to prevent these chronic diseases in the first place. I agree, and want to clarify my earlier healthcare article: When I said Prevention, I meant prevention of chronic diseases, not of complications.

Another point Miller brought up is that, as we live longer, cancer and organ failure becomes problems, which are costly and inevitable. Prevention won't fix that. That's another issue to ponder, and my earlier article did not adequately resolve this issue. Can we afford to keep alive all people who grow old enough to deal with geriatric cancer and organ failures? (As opposed to other patients who have remaining economic potentials.) Or, is this question a moral/ethical one, ie, We have to spend the money because it is inhumane to make the judgement?

Edited for tags and removal of signature

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