Ounce of Prevention

Today’s New York Times reports that the White House has issued new rules for insurance companies, requiring them to cover an array of preventive tests and treatments. These include routine vaccinations, some common cancer screenings, and tests for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Certain types of counseling (e.g. smoking cessation) are also included. Insurers must cover these without demanding a co-pay or deductible.

What a concept! Ever since I was old enough to understand anything about health insurance, I have been struck by the fact that most plans pay nothing for preventive care, while doling out zillions to treat the diseases that should have been preventable.

As doctors, we have had to play the game of coming up with a diagnosis every time we order a test, because no one ever pays for “routine care”. What a joke!

I’m glad the government is stepping in on this. I only wish the insurers had decided to do it on their own a long time ago. This is why government regulation of industry is not always an evil thing…

Here’s the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/health/policy/15health.html?hpw

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