Carmel, CA Angioplasty Update: Studies Call Into Question How Chest Pain Is Treatedby Richard Kuehn on 08/28/12
Recent studies have shown that the current thinking where doctors quickly unclog arteries to provide relief from chest pain may not be the best and most cost effective way to treat it. Rather, they believe using medicine is a cheaper and safer alternative in cases where the pain isn't life threatening. With health care reform laws looking to squeeze more and more costs out of the system, it's sure Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance companies will be taking a closer look at this issue of angioplasty. Many Doctors, however, want to continue with the status quo because it's not always clear when chest pain is life threatening. Better safe than sorry. But with about 7 million angioplasties done each year, and about half of them elective, the $20,000 procedure is coming under scrutiny. I am all for saving on medical costs but I hope that physicians and their patients are able to choose which treatment option they want to have. I once worked for a temporary agency which sent me out to do clerical work at a branch of a private insurance company. I was absolutely disgusted to overhear the staff complaining about how one baby which had been in the Intensive Care Unit for months was ruining their budget. They were literally hoping this child would die so that they could make their budget and get bonuses. What a callous and foolish way to approach health care, what if it was one of their children?