Everyone is talking about the high cost of medicine these days. One of the reasons it is so high is because of the lowest common denominator effect. Everyone gets treated the same–regardless.
This can be seen most profoundly in the cost of having a baby for example. Really? Does it need to cost $7000-$10,000 to bring a child into the world? Women have been doing this thousands of years without physicians at all.
But now, every woman is treated like she is a needle sharing drug addict or a member of the different man a month club. EVERYONE gets screened for Hepatitis B. EVERYONE gets screened for HIV. EVERYONE gets swabbed for Chlamydia–you get the picture, even if they don’t have any of the risk factors associated with these disease states. And this process comes at a tremendous cost.
You’ve been faithful to one partner? It doesn’t matter. You’ve never used IV or illicit drugs? That doesn’t matter either. The list goes on and on. Try to skirt your way around it? You’re labeled as “one of those nuts.”
Of course, the reason for a lot of this refusal to assess each patient individually is multi-fold. One, management doesn’t want to lose revenue. Two, everyone is afraid of lawyers and the “fear of they.” And lastly, because third party payers (state funding for most baby deliveries) are billed rather than the patients themselves. If it’s somebody else’s money, then cost doesn’t matter.
Or does it?