Readers Have Bones To Pick, From Health System Flaws To Covering Pot Beat

Letters to the Editor is a periodic Kaiser Health News characteristic. KHN welcomes all comments and can publish a range. We edit for size and readability and require full names.

On Building Empathy For Patients

As a nurse practitioner for 18 years and somebody who has a continual sickness, I’m intimately conscious of the problems that Dr. Rana Awdish brings up for bettering communication between physicians and sufferers (“Terrifying Brush With Death Drives Doctor To Fight For Patients,” Jan. 2). I see each the nursing and medical aspect of affected person care, and I’ve to say that physicians might study lots from nurses. Listening to sufferers and being a affected person advocate is on the core of what nurses have been doing for 100 years. Thankfully, society is altering and realizing that the doctor is just not a “god-like” determine. Physicians are nothing greater than actual folks, ones who make errors and have bother with communication and emotions, identical to everybody else. I want the journalism world would notice how the nursing perspective is what has given sufferers the “care” they want and search.

— Timothy Ray, Madison, Ohio

In your glorious interview with Dr. Rana Awdish, she discusses a number of “system” limitations to enhancing the patient-doctor relationship – corresponding to productiveness calls for, the maintenance of digital medical data, coping with insurance coverage. But she appears to separate physicians from the “system.” Such separation is itself a major barrier to the communication area that the physician challenges her colleagues to create. Breaking down system limitations requires a system-wide effort, amongst physicians, nurses, aides, administration and data know-how officers — even insurance coverage carriers.

— Paul Shirilla, Traverse City, Mich.

How Hospitals Game The System

In regards to the “poor and sloppy reporting” from the Chicago hospital suing over a score company’s contested grade (“In Era Of Increased Competition, Hospitals Fret Over Ratings,” Dec. 11): Such scores don’t replicate the standard of hospital operations. They replicate the power of an individual to put in writing the most effective report. This will be in comparison with monetary success of hospitals. The hospital that is aware of learn how to recreation the system — getting more cash from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and insurance coverage carriers by maximizing billing — beats the hospital that’s targeted on excellent care.

— Bob Schmidt, Atlanta

Dispense Your Words Carefully

I’m actually not a fan of PhRMA however, within the curiosity of correct reporting, Jay Hancock ought to select his phrases extra fastidiously (“Drug Industry Spent Millions To Squelch Talk About High Drug Prices,” Dec. 19). An group with a $220 million finances can hardly be mentioned to “lavish” help on a bunch of organizations when it spends a complete of $2 million throughout “scores of organizations,” and the biggest reward was $260,000. But the phrase “lavish” could be totally acceptable when describing PhRMA’s reward of $6.1 million to the American Action Network.

— Worth Gretter, Menands, N.Y.

The lady featured in your article “Opioids After Surgery Left Her Addicted. Is That A Medical Error?” (Dec. 11) was not “addicted.” She was “drug-dependent.” Yes, the docs ought to have educated her higher, however you must be technically correct.

— Sally Satel, M.D., Washington, D.C.

Missing A Killer App Opportunity For Painkillers

In reporting on the opioid epidemic, Michelle Andrews supplied perception on her private expertise being overprescribed Percocet for a minor knee harm (“Doctor’s Rx For A Stiff Knee: A Prescription For 90 Percocet Pills,” Nov. 21). She famous how digital prescribing methods make prescribing extra tablets less complicated than prescribing fewer, as they generate the utmost prescription — on this case, 90 tablets of Percocet, a comparatively sturdy opioid for a minor knee surgical procedure.

An automated prescribing system primarily based on procedures would permit extra correct ache medication allocation, whereas aligning with the behavioral workflow of physicians. Why not apply the subtle algorithms and massive information — which Silicon Valley steadily capitalizes on — to the opioid disaster, by growing user-friendly software program for physicians to rapidly prescribe acceptable doses in keeping with the process and weight of the affected person?

— Ariel Cooper, Oakland, Calif.

Docs Not Inoculated Against Runaway Vaccine Costs

Prevnar’s excessive price ticket (“The Ratcheting Price Of The Pneumococcal Vaccine: What Gives?” Nov. 29) is simply a part of the issue. Its producer, Pfizer, in contrast to different vaccine firms, refuses to supply a refund for expired doses of Prevnar if the 10-dose package deal has been opened (doses are in separate, prefilled syringes). So, the pediatrician who orders a big provide when Pfizer provides a few months’ value on the outdated value then will get caught with unused vaccine ($1,000 value this summer time for me, for having six of 10 doses left within the second package deal — that they had early expiration dates). I’m caught with Prevnar, however I exploit Pfizer’s rivals for all different vaccines now.

— PL June, M.D., Moultrie, Ga.

New Light Shed On Sickle Cell Disease

Thanks for the piece on sickle cell illness (“Sickle Cell Patients Suffer Discrimination, Poor Care — And Shorter Lives,” Nov. 6). I bear in mind listening to stuff on TV about sickle cell rising up within the ’70s, however hadn’t heard something since biochemistry class in school. I’d assumed that, due to the sooner consideration, remedies had turn out to be so good that it was now not a difficulty. I assume that was naive, given the following deterioration of our well being care system typically.

— Linda Wilson, Georgetown, Texas

I wished to thank the Kaiser Health News crew for writing a narrative about sickle cell illness. My older brother, Marqus, has sickle cell illness. The story echoed our lives and managed to seize over 100 years of discrimination.

The excellent news is that Marqus survived his seizures and the 2 of us started a nonprofit to try to enhance coverage efforts and high quality of life for sickle cell sufferers. We even went to the Food and Drug Administration final 12 months and testified in regards to the want for drug improvement, finally aiding within the FDA approval of a sickle cell drug. Thank you for validating our trigger and shedding some gentle on disparities for sickle cell illness.

— Ashley Valentine, co-founder and president of Sick Cells, Washington, D.C.

Help For Millennials Peering Over Insurance Cliff

Your current article reporting that millennials are struggling to enroll in well being plans (“Challenges Abound For 26-Year-Olds Falling Off Parental Insurance Cliff,” Dec. eight) profiled one younger lady who discovered a plan after consulting a medical health insurance dealer. More first-time enrollees ought to contemplate following her lead. Eighty-four p.c of customers who sought steering from medical health insurance brokers and brokers when buying on the exchanges discovered them useful — a better satisfaction score than every other supply of help.

— Janet Trautwein, CEO, National Association of Health Underwriters, Washington, D.C.

Weeding Through Facts On Marijuana 

It’s fascinating that the article “Teaching Teens The Perils Of Pot As Marketplace Grows” (Nov. 29) fully disregarded the federal research launched in September 2017 exhibiting that “in 2016, charges of marijuana use among the many nation’s 12- to 17-year-olds dropped to their lowest level in additional than 20 years, in keeping with federal survey information launched.”

— Jason Barker, LECUA Patients Coalition of New Mexico, Albuquerque

You guys preserve pushing reefer insanity articles to NPR. You revealed an article about a youngster who was speculating that authorized marijuana makes it more durable to speak to teenagers about marijuana. Maybe as an alternative of what some random child thinks, take a look at the numbers that present utilization dropping among teens.

And your article on cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (“Wrecked And Retching: Obscure Vomiting Illness Linked To Long-Term Pot Use,” Jan. 2) is nothing greater than a scare piece. What are you afraid of, dropping opioid deaths? This situation, which is acknowledged within the article to be uncommon, goes away as soon as the particular person ceases use. Get with the instances. Your protection is similar outdated only-negative drug battle nonsense.

— Chad Spratt, Austin, Texas

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