I admit to being old fashioned. I want a doctor whom I trust, who knows me, cares about my health and most importantly will use professional skills to prod, poke, listen to my heartbeat, pound on my ribs, and search for troubling signs inside and outside my entire body and then send me out for a blood draw, fecal and urine sample and any other test deemed necessary.
Unknown to many of our seniors, the original Medicare program recently came out with a new rule stating that Medicare will no longer cover routine blood tests ordered by a doctor as part of a general physical examination or screening. In its place is something called an annual “wellness exam” which pales in comparison and effect. Since 1965 Medicare has been designed to keep our older Senior population living longer and healthier lives. But program costs have been increasing and so our government set out to see where cuts could be made. Having been involved with a national Medicare service provider in the past, I readily understood the need for changes and supported the effort. However, this recent fundamental change to the original Medicare program is shortsighted and counterproductive. It will ultimately result in higher costs and, more importantly, higher numbers of hospitalizations, longer and more costly treatments and increasing numbers of preventable deaths.