Politics around Healthcare, Population Health, and its Failures around Risk-Benefit Ratio

Dr. Adam Tabriz

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By definition, the benefit is a valued or desired outcome; an advantage. The risk is the probability of harm or injury (physical, psychological, social, or economic) occurring as a result of participation in treatment. Both the probability and magnitude of possible harm may vary from minimal to significant. On the other hand, a risk-benefit ratio is the ratio of the risk of an action to its potential benefits. The risk-benefit analysis is an analysis that seeks to quantify the risk and benefits.

Moreover, the Politics around the healthcare issue and its delivery have not been advantageous, as it has created a perfect environment for bigoted initiatives. Certain healthcare-related controversies such as Abortion, Right to try, or End of life decisions have turned into political issues where they can be effectively evaluated and spoken to by a personalized approach. Drug advertisements, medication labels, government mandates have generated significant challenges for guideline-based medical care. Hence, it necessitates adverse reactions to be disclosed for the same vaccine mandatory by law even though it creates substantial reluctance from some community members to consent to such treatment, even if the benefits of such therapy may outweigh its risks.

We live through an information-rich period when access to data resources has become as easy as the click of a mouse. Contained by the available information, patients will learn about the risks associated with every treatment option. Therefore under the group healthcare delivery model, it is expected to witness a certain level of resistance concerning immunization. Managed care systems were also established based on mentioned collective concepts. Patients shall receive what the system sees fit, but not necessarily what patient and physician determine as the best treatment option-Only to satisfy the lean business delivery model irrespective of the personal values.

Risk-Benefit Ratio and Avoiding Tunnel Vision

One of the most critical factors in avoiding tunnel vision in medicine is applying a risk-benefit ratio on every patient visit, treating every case as unique and every patient as a textbook who needs to be studied before using the best clinical judgment. Unfortunately, this seems to have changed as well, whether employing increasing government mandates or through the culture of guidelines and protocols established by a group initially intended to maximize the quality of care and foreseen as an efficient tool to practice defensive medicine in a highly politicized and lentiginous industry. Therefore following the cookie-cutter path has become the box approach for many practicing physicians.

Risk-Benefit Ratio and Value of Rendered Medical Service

To determine the value of a medical service rendered to a patient as it implies to value-based reimbursement, it is crucial to factor in the risk-benefit aspect of the treatment applied within the context of such service. Conversely, current values are generally set by social, demographic, population determinants, and the group of official guidelines which preclude individual variations. Under such criteria, benefits may outweigh the risk for the general population but, then again, not necessarily for few members within that community.

Public health has been defined as the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. Then again, the individuality of its approach has been the subject of scrutiny. For that reason, healthcare has experienced several backfires regarding the legitimacy of public health recommendations-such as the anti-vaccination movement. There is no doubt that the role of public health includes utilizing strategies to ensure the safety of others while respecting individual choices and need.

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Adam Tabriz is a Physician, Writer, Entrepreneur, and public health policy, expert. He is an advocate for Personal liberty. The combination of his experience and expertise underlines his passion for advocating true “Personalized Healthcare” and “Healthcare without Borders.” His favorite slogan is: “Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

San Francisco, CA
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