HealthWise at 5 From 5.1 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/1/02

HealthWise at 5 From 5.1

  • Mammogram Law Suits

At Boston University, researchers are predicting the cost of mammograms are going way up due to potential malpractice suits. Researchers there based their analysis on the number of women likely to undergo mammograms, the potential for missed cancers and the average lawsuit settlement. Their analysis determined that a radiologist would have to set aside up to $200 per mammogram to pay for potential lawsuits. Even though $75 is about the limit insurance will pay for a mammogram.

According to the study, patients may eventually be forced to foot the bill for the difference, driving up the costs of mammograms. The group also says fear of lawsuits could force some radiologists into other fields, making it more difficult for women to get a mammogram.

Dr. Richard Tello is a Professor of Radiology, Epidemiology, and Bio-Statistics at Boston University. With a group of his colleagues, Tello conducted a study of potential malpractice suits against radiologists in the next decade.

  • Drug Ad Study

Do you ever ask your doctor for a drug you saw on TV? A survey by the Food and Drug Administration finds that 69% of the time, people self diagnose themselves from something they saw on TV, ask their doctor for the prescription and they get it. Critics have numerous complaints about this including the question are people getting drugs that aren't really appropriate for what ails them? Proponents say drug ads on TV help people become more aware that there is treatment out there for certain problems.

The FDA conducted the survey to decide the impact of TV drug ads, and to determine whether advertisers should go to extra lengths to make sure consumers understand what they're asking for.

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