Excuse me while I second guess you, Doc
From the Wall Street Journal (Insurers Want Patients to Press Doctors About Drugs and Costs)
Lumenos Inc., a unit of health insurer WellPoint Inc., intends to start offering a service that lets its patients enter the names of drugs into their cellphone Web browsers, which in turn will shoot back a list of comparable drugs, ranked by how much they cost under Lumenos’s plans. That way, patients can ask their doctors about cheaper alternatives while they’re still at their appointment, the company says.
The scenario above sounds rude, and reminds me of an earlier post (Cell phone etiquette in the doctor’s office.) When health insurers think of consumer empowerment they tend to think of enlisting consumers in taking an adversarial role with physicians –just like the insurers themselves do. A better idea would be to help patients and physicians engage jointly in finding the most efficacious, cost-effective, and easy-to-tolerate regimen.
Some of the other approaches described in the article make more sense, including providing health statements with suggested questions for patients to ask their physicians.January 31, 2006