105%20Chapter%207 - 1 Chapter 7: Medical and Biological...

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Chapter 7: Medical and Biological Technology * Some might doubt the benefits of technology, but most would admit that improvements in medical technologies have made our lives better. -- The “Good Ol’ Days!” (Bleeding, purging, infusions of certain types of plants) See page 107 * Medical Technology -- Extended the lives of many -- Eliminated or reduced great agony and quality of life problems * It is important to note that all improvements in mortality and morbidity are NOT due to technology. -- Vaccination: to prevent infectious diseases -- antiseptic surgery (Lister’s theory about sterility and cleanliness) -- antibiotics -- transplantation of organs -- The REAL GAINS in life span and quality of life are because of = nutrition = sanitation = personal hygiene = a higher standard of living * But technology contributes significantly, having generated new technologies and engendered new hope! As long as people get sick, there will be a demand for medical technology advancements. -- You can defer buying a car; you can’t defer quadruple by-pass heart surgery. * The cost of health care has been rising markedly, but most this borne by government and private insurance companies! -- In 1996 the Federal government assumed 46.7% of health care costs; private insurance paid 32.6%. Together they paid almost 80% of health costs! Individuals weren’t too hurt by rising costs; they only had to pay 20%! -- Under these conditions (with individuals paying only a small part of the expenses) there is a strong tendency for increasing the amount of care and coasts will soar. If you are not pay- ing for a particular test, why not take the test. -- Increasingly, sophisticated medical technologies offer benefits, BUT … they also generate costs that spiral out of control! 1
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* Dilemmas of New Technologies -- Kidney Dialysis = Technology could be the difference between life and death. In the 1940’s Dr. Willem Kolff found that cleansing the Blood was most beneficial. = Dialysis is very expensive. But, it works! But, who should get it? = Read page 110 – Triage = Having more machines would help solve the problem. = IMPORTANT: In 1972, the U.S. Congress authorized pay- ment under Medicare for dialysis. ( ) This was largely because of the intense lobbying and the telling of horrible stories of sufferers. ( ) Read page 111 – how it passed! = In 1991, dialysis was costing the U.S. taxpayer $4, 800,000,000, . BUT … These patients are ONLY ½ of 1% of Medicare Beneficiaries. Currently, one-third are over 65! ( ) In effect, then, a few patients (.05% of the Medicare population are getting a HUGE chunk of the Medicare money. Is this fair? ( ) The demand is only expected to GROW!
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2011 for the course HSS 105 taught by Professor Anthonyprincipe during the Spring '09 term at Tri - County Technical College.

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105%20Chapter%207 - 1 Chapter 7: Medical and Biological...

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