18 Jan What if You Could Choose Your Healthcare?
Every day we make choices that impact our lives. We can choose our profession. We can choose where to live. We can choose how to spend our time and our money. But, when it comes to our healthcare, we do not have a choice. The present healthcare system does not believe we can freely choose our own health care services.
Instead, some CEO and board of an insurance company decide what type of medical coverage, procedures, services, and medications should be made available to you and your family.
The average insurance deductible has doubled in the past eight years, while many medical practitioners receive half of what they did in 2006. This is particularly true of mental health practitioners, even though it is clear that we need their services now more than ever.
Prevalence of Mental Illness in the U.S.
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults —10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
- Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
- 1.1% of adults live with schizophrenia.
- 2.6% of adults live with bipolar disorder.
- 6.9% of adults—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
- 18.1% of adults experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
- Among the 20.2 million adults who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.
Leading Diseases on the Rise
- 1,688,780 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. This number is greater than what was estimated for 2016.
- The American Diabetes Associations reports 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
- The number of Americans dying of heart disease increased last year, for the first time in more than 10 years.
An increasing number of Americans struggle with illnesses and they don’t have access to care or available treatments. Frustratingly, these types of potentially financially crippling situations are part of life for many American families.
Depending on your insurance carrier and state of residence, treatments such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) may or may not be covered. For example, I have a patient with Locked-In Syndrome, a severe form of brain injury, who could benefit from HBOT, but in Massachusetts, the hospital with a HBOT facility refused to treat him, because it was not covered by his insurance. However, if he lived in Florida, Texas or California, HBOT would be covered.
My Health Care Proposal – Preventative Care Rather Than Reactive Care
In 1996, I created a proposal for healthcare reform in that was almost accepted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since then, the restrictions and lack of choice have only worsened.
I felt it was important to present my healthcare proposal once again in hopes that it is incorporated into our current healthcare system.
Key highlights under my proposal:
- Individuals and families would be free to make their own informed decisions about what kind of services they receive.
- A health care debit card would allow the insured to pay for services with the qualified provider of his or her choice.
- Health insurance would be obtained directly or through an employer.
- The focus would be on preventive rather than reactive care, resulting in greater cost efficiency for everyone.
- Providers would set their own fees and be reimbursed fairly.
- The consumer would retain greater freedom of choice with regards to both the insurer and the provider.
Make the Choice to Make a Difference
Please read my complete proposal here: Dr. Diane’s Healthcare Proposal
If you agree with my Healthcare Proposal, now is the time to act, and let your Congressional representative or Senator know.