A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Patients Make Poor Health-Care Consumers

(Health Blog, Wall Street Journal) The average American spends twice as much time before buying a TV as they do looking for a doctor, [Jon Cohen, a vascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics] told participants … at TEDMED in Washington…
The three main factors that drive consumers to make a choice: price, quality and desire, said Cohen. When it comes to health care, however, price doesn’t correspond with quality, so going to a more expensive doctor doesn’t guarantee better treatment.
So what could help patients become savvier consumers? Getting people to want the same high quality of care for themselves as they wish for their children, said Cohen. “Intense desire trumps all barriers,” he said.
Community: Most people don't have the knowledge necessary to make truly informed decisions about their health care. That's why we depend on doctors. When their financial interests or those of an insurance company override their concern for our health, that puts our lives at risk. That's why the market for medical services isn't a free market, and it shouldn't be treated like one.
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