This recent news that one doesn't need to have a rigorous gym schedule or ambitious running routine to maintain heart health is very encouraging and reassuring.
For young people, the dangers of smoking are not obvious; the risks are easy to ignore and do not seem to be applicable to them. It is up to those who know better -- the legal authorities, in this case -- to protect them from themselves.
Clearly, we are just in the beginning of a revolution on how and what we eat and manufacture. The future of our children, their lifestyle and health, and the health of the earth and its' inhabitants as we know it, is in transition. We can only hope it is a transition for the better.
A properly ordered and acquired imaging examination, with an accurate radiologist's interpretation combined with collaboration between the referring clinician's input regarding the history and physical examination, constitutes optimal patient care.
If Americans are out of shape due to poor exercise, too much sugar, too much salt, etc., can the outcomes be expected to be stellar? To what degree can we hold the physicians, surgeons and hospitals responsible for reported longer length of hospital stays and poor outcomes?
During the fiscal year of 2010, self-referrals amounted to over $109 million dollars in extra payments from Medicare, which equates to approximately 400,000 diagnostic imaging examinations for seemingly arbitrary purposes.
As parents, we tell our children not to drink coffee since it might "stunt your growth," but we do not tell them not to drink these caffeine-loaded energy drinks since it might kill them. The risks and severity of the dangers of these drinks are not being recognized.
Health care today is in a state of transition. Ultimately, good outcomes must prevail and delivery of services must be based on access to affordable quality care, not on discount shopping.
If nothing else, such a ban forces the consumer to stand up to get a refill, which may allow time for the individual to exercise some self-control as well as actually get a moment or two of physical exercise.
To help assure quality care for all, federal mandates have been issued requiring capture of information on race, ethnicity and language data as self-reported by patients or their caregivers. New regulations require hospitals to identify/address these health care disparities.
Patients should participate in the process of questioning as to what medical exams are to be performed and why. Active patient involvement will have the strongest impact on helping to curtail unnecessary testing, which is contributing to the health care crisis.