Thursday, February 10, 2011

Defying Medical Convention - Dr. Charschan's New Book arriving soon

Many of our patients know that a few years ago, I decided to write a book on chronic pain for consumers.  Like Syms, the clothing chain, they always say " An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer."

In the current american health care system, an educated consumer is their worst customer.  This is because the system for many years thrived on people who just took orders from their doctors, took their cholesterol meds because their numbers were not favorable and went for unproven and often ineffective therapies and treatments at great cost that were unreliable, and often dangerous.  In many other countries during the healthcare debate that had universal healthcare, where the systems were about the patients and their needs, rather than the systems themselves, they looked at us like we were nuts to not consider universal healthcare.  We heard about the horror stories of waits to see specialists, with little mention of the fact that in the end, people who live in these countries will still defend their often imperfect but affordable and cost effective healthcare delivery systems.

One of my biggest frustrations is the way the insurance companies have perverted health care delivery in our country.  The American Medical Association has maintained their monopoly on medical practice, owning the coding systems doctors use, making sure care stayed expensive.  Doctors were specialized and taught to believe that organs just went bad and that we must find the disease and treat it with the appropriate drug.  Tests took the place over the years of good manual (by hand) diagnostic skills and many of these tests come back negative, at a great cost to the system.

In my world or rehabilitation, insurance companies raised the co payments everyone pays, so they essentially pay less and we pay more.  In rehab, where people need multiple visits, this makes sense, setting up a financial barrier for the truly needy.  With a periodic office visit, a $50 co pay makes sense.  With rehabilitation 2-3 times weekly, this quickly creates an economic burden, something insurance was designed to take care of and has now been perverted by the insurance industry so they can make more money for their shareholders.  Just recently, Aetna had a great quarter, while they reduced our reimbursements for the umpteenth time and raised your insurance rates.

The healthcare paradigm in the United States is very broken indeed, and more than ever, cost effective solutions are essential. This is why I wrote this book.  I often see inappropriate rehab on a wing and a prayer without consistent results.  This is largely because the public does not understand chronic pain or why they experience it.  This groundbreaking book explains body mechanics in simple terms, why most people suffer from chronic pain and what you as the public can do to get better and more consistent results.  It makes you a smarter patient which the health care abhors and helps you find the practitioners who are about the patient, rather than the system. It also offers some self help advice, and some exercises and helps people understand the health care system better.

I plan to get the book in as an e book within the following month,