Female Patients Translate into Huge Possibilities for the Bottom Line

Mercola.com

Excerpted from:

My New Warning: Avoid THESE Medical Treatments Whenever Possible

Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 09 2011

Women stand the greatest risk of receiving an unnecessary medical procedure. If you are a female living in the US, when it comes to healthcare, you might as well have a target on your back.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one-third of American women have had a hysterectomy by age 60; and half of them have had one by age 65. Yet 85 percent of these surgeries are unnecessary, according to Ernst Bartsich, a clinical associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

This adds up to more than $17 billion a year on direct doctor and hospital charges for hysterectomies.

If you’ve had a complete hysterectomy, meaning you’ve also had your ovaries and cervix removed, you don’t need a Pap test, which examines cells scraped from your cervix. Yet, a study in 2004 showed that 10 million women a year who don’t have a cervix are still getting Pap tests consisting of a scraping of cells from their vaginal walls – when no professional organization recommends this screening for women without a cervix!

For younger women who are in their child-bearing years, the health profession has found a different way to make money off you, to the tune of an extra $3 billion a year.

Spontaneous deliveries – waiting for a baby to come on its own – can be time-consuming for modern doctors, and can test your patience if you’re the mom-to-be. That’s why today 32 percent of American births today are through Caesarean sections (C-sections).

According to Intermountain Healthcare, C-sections are costly in more ways than one:

  • They are the most common surgical procedure performed in America, increasing more than 50 percent since the 1990s.
  • They cost an average of $16,671, compared to $9,428 for a vaginal delivery.
  • Many are being done after a pre-term, elective induction that hasn’t proceeded quickly enough.

Additionally, a New England Journal of Medicine study showed women have up to four times the risk of complications with a C-section than a vaginal birth, ranging between $2,000 and $200,000 in additional costs.

And the complications can be serious, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, putting the babies at increased risk of brain, liver, and lung development problems. Caesarean-delivered babies are also more likely to need CPR, and to have significantly higher rates of respiratory distress, sepsis and hypoglycemia.

So why are C-sections so prevalent?

It’s largely a desire for control on the part of families, physicians and hospitals, the WSJ reported.

And according to USA Today, there’s another reason: “economic incentives” for doctors and hospitals to use these procedures, including bonuses for labor inductions which add costs and increase the risks for C-sections (surprise!).

So there you have it: for the sake of economic incentives, convenience, and control over what day and even time of day the birth occurs, babies’ lives are being put in danger – at an additional annual cost of $3 billion to the U.S. health care system.

From birth through teenage years, our current health care system has a goal of maximizing each new little profit center we usher into their business model. Because that’s what the system is designed to do, put profits first at the expense of everything else, including the health of our babies.

What chance do YOU have against this system?

Educating yourself and your family to their business model and their seemingly endless tricks to maximize profits. Because an educated and healthy consumer is the worst enemy of our current “sick care” model that passes for health care in the US.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.