“Doctors Overlook Lucrative Procedures When Naming Unwise Treatments”

It is always a good idea to talk to your primary care practitioner, the clinician who knows you best, about procedures suggested consulting physicians.

A Kaiser Health News article noted: “The medical profession has historically been reluctant to condemn unwarranted but often lucrative tests and treatments that can rack up costs to patients but not improve their health and can sometimes hurt them. But in 2012, medical specialty societies began publishing lists of at least five services that both doctors and patients should consider skeptically. So far, 54 specialty societies have each offered recommendations and distributed them to more than a half-million doctors.”

Read more

“More than 5% … of U.S. Adults, Could Be Misdiagnosed during an Outpatient Visit …, and about One-Half of These Errors Had the Potential to Lead to Worse Outcomes for the Patients.”

A Modern Healthcare article reported on a studies which defined misdiagnoses as “missed opportunities to make a timely or correct diagnosis based on the available evidence.”

“One of the studies used in the analysis, published in March 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine, identified nearly 70 different conditions for which misdiagnoses occurred in the primary-care setting, like pneumonia, renal failure and urinary tract infections. The other two focused specifically on cancer, including a retrospective study published in BMJ that used electronic health-record data to detect potential delays in prostate and colon cancer diagnoses; and a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which evaluated whether EHRs could be good predictors of misdiagnoses in lung cancer.”

Read more

Flu Myths vs. Facts

Dr. Cindy Feely

In my daily practice at Primary Care Associates, I get asked many questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. Despite improved access to accurate, responsible information in the media and on the web, a number of myths about the flu and the vaccine still exist. So here it is, point-by-point, information for you to make informed choices for your healthcare.

Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu

Facts: The vaccine, including this year’s version, consists of a dead virus which cannot infect you. What it can do is make your body produce the antibodies necessary to fight that virus if you come in contact with a live version of it. The live virus is included in the Flu Mist – a nasal spray, not an injection – but it is engineered so that it will not make you sick.

Myth #2: If you weren’t vaccinated by November, there’s no point in getting it now

Facts: While we are seeing a large number of cases right now, the flu often doesn’t hit its peak until February or even March. And while it does take two weeks to be fully effective, the vaccine will help lessen the severity if you do get the flu.

Myth #3: There’s no treatment for the flu

Read more