February notes from The Self-Pay Patient

As I mentioned in early January, this is the busy time for my other work (the kind that pays), so blogging here at The Self-Pay Patient isn’t going to be quite as frequent as in the past. I’m aiming for three to four posts a week instead of the normal five, but obviously this week that hasn’t happened.

  • I wanted to catch readers up on just a few items before the long weekend.Today is the last day that The Self-Pay Patient: Affordable Healthcare Choices in the Age of Obamacare is on sale in e-book form (Kindle, Nook, iTunes) at the special promotional price of $0.99. So if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to pick it up on sale, now’s your chance! You can find links to the book on all 3 platforms here: The Self-Pay Patient – Buy the Book.
  • I heard back from Samaritan Ministries about their bill negotiating services, and the good news is that all members of Samaritan are able to get the benefit of this important service regardless of whether they are also members of The Health Co-Op.
  • Michelle Katz posted a link on her Facebook page to this British Medical Journal study (apparently they just call themselves BMJ now) showing that annual mammograms for women age 40-59 do NOT reduce mortality. It’s helpful information for self-pay patients who may have to pay for mammograms out of their own pocket, giving them more information on whether getting an annual screening is worth the money or not.

That said, it’s important to remember that each person is different, and the truth is that these sorts of studies tend to be accurate for large populations but not necessarily applicable to unique individuals. A woman with a family history of breast cancer, for example, might very well benefit from annual screenings. If nothing else, there is value in peace of mind.

I’ve been planning a blog post on medical screenings, both the value they can provide as well as problems associated with their frequent overuse. Consider this little nugget on mammograms a brief preview, or ‘foreshadowing’ as they called it in my college ‘Film Studies’ class (don’t ask – I needed a fine arts class for my gen-ed requirements, and this was the only one I stood a chance at passing). I’m hoping to get to the longer post on screenings in the next week or two.

Next week I’ll be on the road again and probably unable to post again until Wednesday, so have a great Valentine’s Day/George Washington’s Birthday weekend!

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One Response to February notes from The Self-Pay Patient

  1. Mark Bosworth says:

    My understanding of the Mammogram study was that the detection of cancers from a physical exam was pretty good and that the extra detection from a Mammogram did not yield anything to that. So don’t forget your regular self examination! It’s free and can save your life.

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