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Patients? Practitioners? Feds?

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Under federal healthcare reform, who’ll be in charge of making treatment decisions? Will that continue to be a conversation between you and your practitioner, or will bureaucrats throttle us with rules and regulations?

A scientific study of informed consent revealed that practitioners often unduly influence patient choice. On the other hand, health savings accounts (HSAs) shifted to consumers the authority and responsibility to decide where their healthcare dollars would be spent. Many policymakers saw HSAs as a way to educate consumers about the cost of healthcare. Knowing how their lifestyle decisions impacts their wallets motivated them to make wiser lifestyle choices, thereby controlling costs.
A study published on Nov. 30, 2009, in the journal Arthritis Care and Research tested patients’ willingness to try a “new drug,” in this case a hypothetical drug described as having potential important benefits but also carrying a small risk of serious side effects. Researchers at Yale University set out to determine what happens when patients assume responsibility for decision-making. After viewing two videos, most subjects were less willing to take the “new drug that may carry benefits but also may cause serious side effects.” Patients also expressed greater concerns about these side effects, even if the risk was small.
Neither the House nor Senate version of healthcare reform acknowledges that when consumers are given responsibility for medical decisions, they pay closer attention to both risks and costs.

Deborah A. Ray, MT (ASCP), Editor
Craig Smith and Stuart Kellogg, Deputy Editors

ANH-USA Pulse of Health FreedomThis newsletter is copyrighted material (copyright by Alliance for Natural Health USA, 2009) but we hope you will forward, copy, or reprint it without prior authorization. Just remember to note the source and date — Alliance for Natural Health USA, December 8, 2009.

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