The mainstream media had a field day condemning Donald Trump for promoting off-label uses of prescription drugs to treat the coronavirus. So what do you expect to happen when a drug is “proven”? Did you know that “approved” drugs work only half the time? What about “unproven” drugs? Did you know that as many as one in five drugs in use in the United States has been prescribed for an off-label purpose? Roughly one-half of all cancer patients are relying on off-label prescriptions. Much of what doctors know they learn by trial and error – outside of FDA tests. More.
A revolution is occurring in the way medical care is being delivered in the United States. It is happening almost overnight. People have stopped going to hospital emergency rooms. They have stopped going to doctors’ offices. Most of the nation is self-isolating. Doctors and patients are no exception. They are communicating by means of phone, email, Skype, Zoom and other devices. Last December, Zoom was the host of 10 million video conferences a day. Last week, the company was hosting 200 million a day. Many of those were patient/doctor communications. More.
I suspect that behind a veil of ignorance, you would choose rationing rules that favor people who are doing the most to improve the lives of other people. And I think this is what the health professionals do as well. Prospects for survival are important because the better the prospects, the more likely the patient is to contribute to social welfare as a whole. Age is important, because the more years of life the patient has left, the more opportunities there will be to make such contributions. More.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Paying off your mortgage may not be as glamorous as playing the market. But think of it this way. You’ll never have to make another mortgage payment for the rest of your life. Won’t that feel great! More.
First, test everybody – the healthy and the sick. The “healthy” may be infected and asymptomatic, yet still spreading the virus. Hence, testing the “healthy” can help us quarantine those who are infected but so far asymptomatic. Second, the “healthy” who test negative can be allowed to return to work, attend school, shop, frequent restaurants, etc. Group testing makes this practical. More.
Social Security has a policy of calling people close to 70 and making them an “offer” to start their benefits retroactively. Doing so saves Social Security money but hurts the recipients, who lose thousands of dollars of life time benefits. The bribe comes packaged with suggestions that if they die they won’t get their checks, so why not grab six months of benefits for sure. More.
With group testing, you take samples, say, from 20 people and test them all at once. If the result is negative, those 20 are free to go to work. If the test is positive, you divide the group into two and test 10 at a time. Using this method, you greatly reduce the number of tests needed to separate those who have the virus from those who do not. And we should do this every day. More.
Most patients would have a health kit in their home, with a temperature gauge, blood pressure cuffs and an oxygen sensor. Patients would have these because doctors, hospitals and health plans would encourage them. Patients with older models would call in the readings to their doctors. Newer models would send the doctor an automatic, electronic alert if there was reason to be concerned.More
Critics of President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis characterize it as knee-jerk, spur-of-the-moment, and grasping at any straw within reach. In fact, many of the executive actions we have seen in the past few days reflect a new approach to health policy that has been underway almost since the day Donald Trump was sworn into office.
These include the ability to be diagnosed and treated without ever leaving your own home; the ability to talk to doctors 24/7 by means of phone, email and Skype; and the ability of the chronically ill to have access to free diagnoses and treatments without losing their access to Health Savings Accounts. More.
John Goodman writes: Many people lost the insurance they were promised they could keep. Many lost access to the doctor they were promised they could continue to see. Premiums have doubled. Deductibles have tripled. Provider networks are so narrow, people with serious health problems are routinely denied access to the best doctors and the best hospitals. More.