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Articles    H3'ed 3/21/10

Insurance Should Pay For Healing, Not Treating

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Message Lewis Mehl-Madrona

We should consider this in the health care debate. Data is available for discussion. Numerous studies have shown that 80% of primary care visits to health care practitioners involve the ordinary suffering of daily life and not diseases that need treatment, yet we throw pills and potions at these woes as if that is their solution. Health care reform will never work unless we find cost-effective ways to address the ordinary woes of daily life and stop attempting to medicate them away.

This will not happen until insurance coverage is expanded to include coverage of prevention and non-pharmacological therapies. I would be thrilled if we moved toward a system that rewards good outcomes. If I were paid in accordance with people's getting better instead of compliance with a list of covered services, I would be much better off finacially and might find more effectiveness and sense of satisfaction from within insurance reimbursed services. That would be a novel experience I would welcome.

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Lewis grew up in southeastern Kentucky and attended Indiana University where he majored in biophysics. He then attended Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residencies in family medicine and in psychiatry at the University of (more...)
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