Surgery is expensive, there are no doubts about that. However, there are a few things a patient without insurance who desires surgery can do to minimize the costs as much as possible. Before going into cost-cutting measures, you first need to understand where the costs come from. In rank order, the costs of surgery come from (highest to lowest):

Here are the top posts from this past week, based on the number of times they were viewed. 1. What happened inside the hospital during the Joplin, MO tornado. Dr. Kevin Kikta was one of two emergency physicians on duty at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO on Sunday, May 22 when an EF-5 tornado struck the hospital. 2. Should doctors be addressed by their first name? Unlike ...

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As I was getting my daily fix of ESPN recently, something a bit different than the routine scores and highlights came across my TV. Two very talented men, both potentially bound for NFL stardom, were showcasing their talents for scouts, coaches, recruiters, and reporters – a panel of judges if you will. Although these players have certainly proved their talents in the past, these workouts will likely determine which player an ...

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by J. Walden Retan MD Begin with what everyone knows.  Healthcare costs and health insurance costs are climbing more than twice as fast as the cost of living, and have been for years. There is no need for numbers to prove the point. Just ask anyone who buys health insurance on their own, any employer trying to take care of his employees, any employee whose wages ...

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With the expected cutbacks in healthcare funding and the increasingly dismal outlook for "new" money in the healthcare pot, "value" has quickly become a key watchword. In the past decade, we've seen many public and private payers implement value-based, pay-for-performance (P4P) programs as a means of spurring healthcare providers to improve the quality of services they provide and, tangentially, reduce the ...

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In my interactions with patients, I always ask them to tell me when their weight problems began and what they believe contributed to their weight gain. Broadly speaking, there are two categories: people, who were big (or were considered big by others) as long as they can remember and those, who can often clearly pinpoint when their weight ...

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The following deceptive advertisement appeared in my church's bulletin yesterday:

Life Line Screening, the nation's leading provider of preventive health screenings, will offer their affordable, non-invasive, painless health screenings [in the church cafeteria] on April 9th. Five screenings will be offered that scan for potential health problems related to: blocked arteries, which is a leading cause of stroke; abdominal aortic aneurysms, which can lead to a ruptured aorta; hardening of the ...

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Comparative effectiveness research — investigations that determine which treatments are best — has attracted attention in the health care debate. Critics charge that these studies are designed to restrict choice. The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest released a report that suggested that they would stifle innovation. Often they are framed as studies to support efforts to keep useful but expensive ...

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by Mike Cadogan, MB ChB Crossing multiple time zones can produce a constellation of symptoms known as jet lag. Jet lag is most noticeable in the first 24-48 hours following travel and can last for up to 5 days before individuals return to normal functioning. Symptoms are closely affected by both the length and direction of travel. Symptoms include: reduced alertness, night-time insomnia, loss of appetite, depressed mood, poor ...

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In a thoughtful posting in the New York Times, Dr. Pauline Chen, a well respected observer of the doctor-patient relationship, points out an ethical dilemma that faces cancer researchers working in drug development conducting early phase (I) new drug studies. Ethicists have identified that patients in these studies often have unrealistic optimism about their personal outcomes despite ...

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