Screening and prevention are huge issues in medicine today. We all know that knowing early is better than knowing late, so we all screen: it’s like having your teeth cleaned and minding your credit score. Why not screen? Insurance pays, after all, and so….
Here’s a nuanced take on the issue, from Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org, on American Health Line:
“One trend that stands out from 2010 is what I call ‘screening madness.’ I’m referring specifically and solely to the promotion of screening tests outside the boundaries of evidence and to the emphasis only on the benefits of screening tests with concomitant downplaying or complete disregard for the harms of screening.
“Why is this a health policy issue? There are several obvious reasons. If we don’t communicate balanced information on harms as well as benefits of screening tests, we’re probably never going to do so on downstream treatment choice issues. And therein is a pretty big piece of the health care economy. Screening people outside the boundaries of evidence could bankrupt the nation in a heartbeat.” More.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.