Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Thing or Bad?

From an innovation standpoint, there's no question that this is a good thing.

But a percutaneous aortic valve at 101?

Guess it depends on how old you are when you look at this.

Given the cost of this procedure and the projections for when Medicare will go bust, young folks might have a legitimate concern that the funds for health care might not be available for such a procedure by the time they're eligible.



Anonymous said...

Just had a discussion about this with one of our CT surgeons. His elderly mother recently died with severe AS. Her physicians wanted to refer her for percutaneous valve replacement. He declined to persue this and felt that it was not appropriate.
That made me a bit more optimistic about the utilization of these devices if/when they get approval.
But I guess he could be an outlier.

Allison said...

If you're relatively healthy, have all of your marbles, and still enjoy being alive, why wouldn't you do this? Has society picked an age at which it decides you're not worth saving?

DrWes said...


While agree with you, "society" is quickly evolving toward using "guidelines" for medical care as "mandates" for care. I would hope that local, reasoned approach to this issue between a doctor and patient could be maintained in the future, but with third party payers increasingly controlling who gets what, we can look for any number of other covert rationing schemes (also known as hoop-jumping) to be foisted upon doctors and their patients as central cost concerns trump local care concerns.

Anonymous said...

When you're happy to pay for universal pre-school, school lunches, mental health clinics, drug re-hab, universal pre-natal care, after school programs, dental care for needy children, universal kindergarten, affordable college tuition, and wars that are paid for - maybe just three of them - then I'll be happy to pay for open heart surgery at 101.