In Cheaper Medicines Not Always Better, medical expert Peter Pitts, President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and former associate FDA commissioner writes:
The health care reform debate has been focused almost entirely on just two broad issues: the large uninsured population and the rising cost of care. But there’s another problem that plagues our health system, and it’s just as serious. Doctors are losing their ability to treat patients without being obstructed by outside parties. Any discussion about improving our health system must recognize that rules which empower bureaucrats to get in the way of the doctor-patient relationship are a serious threat to the quality of medical care.
A strong, trusting relationship between doctors and patients is crucial to a well-functioning health care system. Without such a bond, serious conditions might go misdiagnosed or improperly treated, patients might give inaccurate medical histories, or doctors’ orders might be ignored.
This is no small problem. Failing to follow a prescribed treatment regimen – a practice known as “nonadherence” — costs the U.S. health system over $100 billion a year in avoidable medical costs. And, according to a study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine, patients who don’t have a close relationship with a single doctor are less likely to receive the proper tests for preventing chronic illnesses.
For more, see Orange County Register.