Don’t fall victim to a medical mistake! From unnecessary treatments to medical procedures that may pose more risk than benefit, get must-know information that could potentially save your life! Plus, three tips to best communicate with your doctor, and more!
Woman Given Unnecessary Chemotherapy
Federal investigators recently arrested a Michigan oncologist on charges he submitted false claims to Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, including chemotherapy. The complaint alleges that Dr. Farid Fata deliberately misdiagnosed patients as having cancer to justify unnecessary cancer treatment, according to a release by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Now, one of his patients speaks out on national television for the first time.
Maggie says that Dr. Fata diagnosed her with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, after he did some blood tests, and told her that she needed to begin chemotherapy immediately. She began the treatment, but after about six months, she says the side effects were so debilitating, she decided to go for a second and third opinion. Both doctors found that she never had cancer and didn't need chemotherapy. By then, Maggie says, the damage already had been done.
"My quality of life went from being active with my family to being bedridden," Maggie says.
In August, Dr. Fata was charged with heath care fraud, including prescribing unnecessary chemotherapy. His attorney, Christopher Andreoff, said in a statement that Dr. Fata "proclaims his innocence regarding the allegations as stated in the federal criminal complaint and in the indictment, which was returned on Aug. 14."
How to Avoid Being Overtreated or Mistreated
Dr. Makary says he thinks the biggest problem with health care is overtreatment. He explains that there's a system of incentives that reward the wrong things and that some doctors prescribe the same treatments for similar conditions without considering the circumstances. "What you lose sometimes is the appropriateness: When is it right to treat?"
Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and director of patient-centered care research at George Washington University, calls the issue of overtesting, "cookbook medicine." "That's following a recipe and not tailoring the care to your symptoms and your body," she says.
How can you tell when a procedure is necessary and when it's a money-maker for the hospital? Find out which procedures are often prescribed unnecessarily and get tips to help protect yourself and your pocketbook.
Overselling of Medicine?
One in five Americans takes a psychiatric medicine daily, and in children, there's been an increase in the diagnoses of bipolar disorders, autism and attention deficit disorders.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork asks: "Is modern life driving us crazy, or is something else driving the diagnosis?"