The average American pediatrician has 1546 patients, though some pediatricians see many more. The vast majority of those patients are very young, perhaps because children transition to a family physician or stop visiting the doctor at all as they grow up. As they table above explains, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays pediatricians $400 per fully vaccinated child. If your pediatrician has just 100 fully-vaccinated patients turning 2 this year, that’s $40,000. Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays your doctor a $40,000 bonus for fully vaccinating 100 patients under the age of 2. If your doctor manages to fully vaccinate 200 patients, that bonus jumps to $80,000. (Source: )
I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. It’s the system that is broken. Pain medications definitely have their uses, but doctors have come to rely on them too much because it’s easy, and because the profit driven pharmaceutical companies throw money around and people jump for it, regardless of the consequences.
The first place where the use of pain medication should be seriously limited is with patients who have a temporary injury that will heal within a month or so. Usually, the amount of time it takes for these temporary injuries to heal is just long enough for the patient to become addicted. As soon as they are addicted, they no longer need the medication. Such patients would be better off with an alternative treatment or some sort of non-opiate medication. This would greatly reduce the number of people who end up becoming addicted to opiate pain medications.
The use of such drugs should only be used for terminal cancer patients and people who are in excruciating pain that do not respond to other types of pain treatment.
I would stop short of saying that these medications should be a last resort, but certainly they shouldn’t be the first, go-to medication for everyone who says ouch either.
It would be ideal if we treated patients with the most effective treatment that has the least side effects and drawbacks possible. Unfortunately, the cost of treatment will always be a factor. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t consider the cost of a treatment. It’s certainly reasonable to try to get the best treatment for the least amount of money. But we should also be aware of the fact that some treatments may be cheaper initially, but have a very high cost in the long run.
Opiate pain medication is a good example of this. It is pretty cheap to prescribe opiate pain medications to people with pain, but the frequency with which they have been prescribed has caused a very large addiction problem and a lot of people have died from an overdose as well. And this has taken whatever money was saved and used it to treat all the people who have become addicted as well as having to cover the cost of providing drugs to treat overdoses, which is very expensive.
A change in the way we use these drugs could go a long way towards lowering the overall cost of using them as well as increasing the effectiveness of treatment.