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Medicine The Almighty Buck

California Healthcare Provider Wants Illness-Predicting Algorithm 341

Posted by timothy
from the make-hospitals-smaller dept.
alphadogg writes "The Heritage Provider Network wants to do for healthcare what technology in the film Minority Report did for police work. In other words, it wants to use technology to pre-emptively predict when illness is likely to strike and take measures to prevent costly hospitalizations. This week Heritage announced that it was offering a prize of $3 million for any developer who successfully created a 'breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.'"
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California Healthcare Provider Wants Illness-Predicting Algorithm

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  • something similar - http://gosset.wharton.upenn.edu/mortality/ [upenn.edu]
    All they have to do now, is get the source, fork it on github, and add a few conditions for... well, conditions.

    Let's see some academic collaboration happening OSS style!
  • Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    'breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.'"

    By removing them from the list?
    "Sorry, you're statistically not interesting for us anymore..."

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by click2005 (921437) * on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:19AM (#35665132)

      or...

      "Statistically you're likely to get so your premiums are going up by 588%"

      or...

      "There is a 22% likelihood that one of your kidneys will fail within 5 years, 44% for leukaemia blah blah.. how about one of our body scans??"

      or..

      Patient: Can I see a doctor?
      HCP: Doctor? We dont need doctors.
      Patient: But I'm sick. I think my kidneys are failing.
      HCP: I dont think thats very likely. According to our software you only have a 2% chance of kidney failure. Its probably just gas.

      • by Ferzerp (83619)

        All of the comments I see here take a cynical view. Here is the alternative.

        Person X is insured by company Y

        Person X has made claims r, s, t, etc.

        Company Y sees the claims, realizes that based on statistics, person X may be progressing to condition Z.

        Condition Z is preventable, managable if treated early. If early treatment/prevention does not occur, person X is in for an expensive, unpleasant future, and company Y has to foot the bill.

        With prevention, company Y saves money, person X saves money (out of

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          But this is Slashdot!

          Such a horribly rational view ignores the blatant invasion of privacy involved! Lying to doctors, denying preventative care, and having delusions of perfection are all natural rights, guaranteed in the Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the Emancipation Proclamation! Please, think of the children! What will the effect be on their self-esteem if a doctor tells them they have a risk of diabetes, and have to go get a scary test?

          It's like the insurance companies raising premiums for habitua

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            How would that differ from not denying treatment in the first place? Doctors are supposed to make diagnosis when anything happens that produces a record in the patient's history anyway.

        • Company Y sees the claims, realizes that based on statistics, person X may be progressing to condition Z. ...
          How is this a bad scenario exactly?

          You have a test and you find out that your PSA level [wikipedia.org] is elevated. Your doctor tells you that, based on the lack of cancer in your family history, your age and the fact that you had severe complications the last time you had a biopsy, it would be best to just repeat the PSA test again in a year or two and not worry about it otherwise.

          The elevated PSA level gets reported to Company Y, however, and their viewpoint is that the statistical chances of a person with an elevated PSA level developing expensive-to-

        • by IonOtter (629215)

          This is my hope also, but let's be honest here?

          HCP can save $$ by predicting a pre-emergent condition that will cost less to treat if nipped in the bud.

          Or...

          HCP can save $$$$$$$$ by taking the patient's money, and then dumping the patient at a statistically predicted time when the pre-emergent condition can be expected to start manifesting.

          Cynicism is optimism colored by experience.

      • Or maybe it could be used in a Humaine country to further reduce health care costs and extend longevity.

  • by mattcsn (1592281) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:11AM (#35665082)

    "New care plans and strategies" sounds like HMO-speak for "cut off people before they cost us more than we soak in from them".

    • by PJ6 (1151747)

      "New care plans and strategies" sounds like HMO-speak for "cut off people before they cost us more than we soak in from them".

      This gets at the heart of why a for-profit model may be inappropriate for some industries.

    • Insurance against risk is a republic (faux-elitist class) business model.

      The model says we insure you against reasonable risk? We ensure ourselves from any risk!

      Recent example: Derivatives mitigate losses by insuring faux-elitist from their piss-poor decisions.
      Recent example: Derivatives ensured earnings for the scam-elitist sellers and assured losses for US, EU... pensions and taxes.

      Global corporate socialism/welfare economies work well for others, but never for EU or US folks/citizens.

      Socialism/welfare

      • by hsmith (818216)
        Insurance *is* risk. Mitigation. Current "health insurance" is more subsidizing the costs for everyone.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      * not from the USA.

      Is an HMO legally allowed to cut off people who are currently insured with the HMO?

    • by NoSig (1919688) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @10:56AM (#35666756)
      That is exactly what insurance is about - distribute predictable risk at a cost. It is not about the low-risk subsidizing the high-risk. If you want the low-risk to sponsor the at-risk, then what you are talking about is government management of healthcare. Insurance is a red herring in the American health care debate - insurance simply is not about what Americans seem to think it should be about. It's about predicting your actual risk and charging you a fee that is proportional to that risk. So with insurance, many people will face unaffordable fees because their risk is unaffordable. That's what insurance is, it is not about the low-risk sponsoring the high-risk, it is about paying for the removal of whatever risk you actually have, and that price is going to be very high if your risk is very high. Don't blame the insurance companies for being insurance companies. If what you actually want is for the low-risk to sponsor the high-risk people, then you are not talking about insurance, so stop using the word insurance because insurance is not about that. Instead, realize that you are a supporter of government healthcare and go support what you actually believe in.
  • DELETE * FROM active_patients WHERE medical_loss_ratio > 20%;

  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot @ s p a d . c o.uk> on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:19AM (#35665130) Homepage

    It's called preventive medicine; the rest of the world has been doing it for some time now...

    • This is the US... we prefer preventative strikes
    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by goodmanj (234846) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @09:06AM (#35665586)

      The question is, is this preventive medicine or preventive insurance?

      With single-payer health care, this distinction doesn't exist.

    • by hoggoth (414195)

      The insurance companies won't be using this to prevent illness. They will use it to drop your coverage before they have to pay anything.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      yeah, I am confused by this offer. There is software out there that does this, but maybe they want something more accurate.

    • by tchdab1 (164848)

      Rather in the US these days we prefer preventative denial of benefits. Preventative medicine is reserved for situations where the institution is not reimbursed, such as hospital acquired infections, falls, etc.

  • Is to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.

    Predict and prevent?

    Prevent with extreme prejudice.
  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:21AM (#35665152)

    The whole idea of a healthcare insurance is to spread the risk between people... therefore it's pretty much necessary that healthy and unhealthy people pay the same.
    If you have a cheap healthcare for all healthy people, and then an unaffordable one for those more likely to get ill, the system crashes, doesn't it?

    An insurance is a protection against future problems. Healthy people also must invest in their own unavoidable loss of health.

    • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:31AM (#35665242)

      The whole idea of a healthcare insurance is to spread the risk between people... therefore it's pretty much necessary that healthy and unhealthy people pay the same. If you have a cheap healthcare for all healthy people, and then an unaffordable one for those more likely to get ill, the system crashes, doesn't it?

      An insurance is a protection against future problems. Healthy people also must invest in their own unavoidable loss of health.

      You are assuming that the aim of healthcare insurance is to provide healthcare to people efficiently rather than to maximise profit for the providers.

      • You are assuming that the aim of healthcare insurance is to provide healthcare to people efficiently rather than to maximise profit for the providers.

        Absolutely!
        You may call me a communist now :-)

        • by Chrisq (894406)

          You are assuming that the aim of healthcare insurance is to provide healthcare to people efficiently rather than to maximise profit for the providers.

          Absolutely! You may call me a communist now :-)

          You're a communist! (but by that reckoning so am I. I would never swap our NHS for an insurance based system)

        • by microbox (704317)

          You may call me a communist now :-)

          False dichotomies aside, he is pointing out that the healthcare insurance companies are /not/ going to do the job ethically or even properly. Follow the money to see how incentives skew activity. In Canada, billing costs less than 10% of that in the USA. Of course, billing costs go straight to the insurance company. You guys are getting ripped off big-time.

          The alternative is not communism. That would be the type of black-and-white thinking one could expect from aspergers.

          • That would be the type of black-and-white thinking one could expect from aspergers.

            Really? I'd expect it from the average member of society.

      • You are assuming that the aim of healthcare insurance is to provide healthcare to people efficiently rather than to maximise profit for the providers.

        Personally, I consider the fact that this is no longer the case to be rather compelling evidence that humanity is beyond redemption at this point.

        Push the button and reboot. Maybe the cockroaches will fuck up less.

      • by Motard (1553251)

        Health insurers are definitely not aiming to maximize the profits of providers. Quite the opposite in fact.

        • Minor Nit: The term "Provider" within the medical billing system is horribly overloaded. Both physicians and insurance companies can and often are referred to as "providers" (with different modifiers, hopefully).

          • by Motard (1553251)

            No, in this context, insurers are not providers. That term is used because providers can include midwives, ambulance companies, durable medical equipment sellers, pharmacies, etc.

      • by mcelrath (8027) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @09:14AM (#35665662) Homepage

        And that, in a nutshell is what's wrong with for-profit insurance providers: the profit motive of the company is directly opposed to the health motive of the customer.

        Because of that very fundamental fact, the only medical insurance scheme that makes any sense is a socialized one.

        • by Motard (1553251)

          Incorrect. Live, healthy premium payers are good for health insurers. Live, unhealthy premium payers are bad for health insurers. And dead people don't pay premiums, so they're no use to health insurers.

          The profit motive ensures that the plans remain viable and competition ensures that the insurers will keep the premiums as low or lower than their competitors. And if an employer suspects that the insurers are raping them, then they can self insure and just pay an administrative fee to a Third Party Admi

          • by mcelrath (8027) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @09:45AM (#35666012) Homepage

            Incorrect. If an insurance company has the opportunity to remove unprofitable members from the rolls, they will take it. If they have the opportunity to refuse treatment, they will take it. If they can select which new customers they will take and which ones they won't, they will use that. If they can write long obtuse contracts outlining things they won't pay for, and have their army of lawyers enforce it, they will do it.

            It is a general fact about any kind of insurance that the interests of the insurer are misaligned with the interests of the insuree. They're predatory industries who rely upon promising more than they will deliver and tricking their customers wherever possible.

            Only in the circumstance that the insurer is required to insure everyone does the profit motive go in the direction of the patient's interests (in the form of preventative care). Preventative care is a long term investment that wall street doesn't see.

            • It is a general fact about any kind of insurance that the interests of the insurer are misaligned with the interests of the insuree. They're predatory industries who rely upon promising more than they will deliver and tricking their customers wherever possible.

              Citation needed...

              Only in the circumstance that the insurer is required to insure everyone does the profit motive go in the direction of the patient's interests (in the form of preventative care). Preventative care is a long term investment that wall street doesn't see.

              And why does the system magically work if they have to insure everyone? Surely they'll just offer a deal to everyone, but a crap deal for everyone they don't want?

              • by geekoid (135745)

                Obvious, they need to offer the same deal.
                And THAT drives innovation to predict who is most likely to need hospitalization and educate and treat them before they become critical.

                It means it's in everyone best interest to have a healthy base.

            • by Motard (1553251)

              Insurers cannot remove people from rolls merely for becoming ill. That would make their entire reason to exist pointless, and their product utterly without value.

              You can rest assured that large corporations that purchase health insurance for the employees (and selves) have their own army of lawyers and experts and are not being tricked.

              The individual mandate, coupled with a ban in preexisting condition exclusions, is actually supported enthusiastically by health insurance companies. Their only problem wit

    • by Kludge (13653)

      ... therefore it's pretty much necessary that healthy and unhealthy people pay the same.

      Yeah, the fat guy who smokes, drinks, and eats cheeseburgers everyday should pay the same as me, the skinny guy who eats salads everyday. I have really low life insurance rates compared to most other people. Why should health insurance be different?

      If you have a cheap healthcare for all healthy people, and then an unaffordable one for those more likely to get ill, the system crashes, doesn't it?

      The system won't crash entirely as long as there are some people who are willing to pay for health care. However, that is the problem with US health care, fewer and fewer people can afford it because doctors and hospitals limit the amount of care available, d

      • by timeOday (582209)

        Yeah, the fat guy who smokes, drinks, and eats cheeseburgers everyday should pay the same as me, the skinny guy who eats salads everyday.

        Based on nothing but the above, your risk is probably lower than his, but it might or might not be. You might simply have bad genes. Without accurate predictive models, what you call "risk factors" don't have much predictive value - that's what risk fators are - factors in some sort of model. So I support better modeling.

        However, we must apply them carefully. I don

    • The whole idea of a healthcare insurance is to spread the risk between people... therefore it's pretty much necessary that healthy and unhealthy people pay the same.

      That's not how car insurance works. People with a higher risk of accidents pay more. That's why your premiums go up after a speeding ticket, and go down when you get married / have kids. Your premiums change with your statistical level of risk.

      I don't know how other forms of insurance work, so maybe someone can enlighten me, but I assume they also charge based on risk.

      So, why would health insurance be different?

      • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @09:09AM (#35665612)

        "So, why would health insurance be different?"

        Ultimately it is different because without car insurance you walk, without health insurance you die [1]. Maybe you are fine with the concept of the poor and people who don't live the way you feel they should just dieing of treatable illness, but that fundamental difference between car insurance and health insurance remains.

        [1] Earlier than necessary due to treatable illness you can't afford.

        • by arkenian (1560563)
          posting to undo bad mod. (Meant to mod insightful, modded 'offtopic' instead)

          Since I'm posting anyway... GP is right in that the health insurance model is different from other models insofar as while most insurance plans are designed to manage and pay for individual risk, health insurance is designed to manage and pay for collective risk. This is partially for the reasons of charity/social justice (not because insurance companies care about these things, but because people do.) Mostly, of course, its

        • by NoSig (1919688)
          You are not talking about insurance then. Insurance is paying to offset your own actual predictable risk. You are talking about socialized medicine. That's great, but stop calling it "insurance" and start supporting what you actually believe in. As long as you call it insurance, your cause will be weak because you are championing something that actually is completely unrelated to that which you desire.
      • by Qzukk (229616)

        It's not how any insurance works.

        You get your car wrecked and your insurance company pays to fix it, you go on.
        You get your house burned down and your insurance company pays to fix it, you go on.
        Your employee falls down on the job and your insurance company pays to fix it, you go on.
        A customer falls down and your insurance company pays to fix it, you go on.
        You die and your insurance company pays to bury you, your kids go on.

        You get cancer and your insurance company pays and pays and pays and pays and...

        Sure

      • The whole idea of a healthcare insurance is to spread the risk between people... therefore it's pretty much necessary that healthy and unhealthy people pay the same.

        That's not how car insurance works. People with a higher risk of accidents pay more. That's why your premiums go up after a speeding ticket, and go down when you get married / have kids. Your premiums change with your statistical level of risk.

        I don't know how other forms of insurance work, so maybe someone can enlighten me, but I assume they also charge based on risk.

        So, why would health insurance be different?

        The difference is the extreme skewness of the risk to the insurer. The worst you can do with a car is to write it off. Even if it's a $2M Veyron, that's the most you can end up claiming on the car insurance. Also, the premium is a good few percent of that per year, so the insurer has a chance of making money if he has a pool of car owners, and the law of large numbers is helping him. Basically, there's no reason to think the accident rate will go up, and in addition, the value of the car is is sliding down.

  • Kodak, Microsoft, IBM, Motorola and about 25 more companies claim they have already patented it. When pressed they admitted they have pretty much patented everything that could ever be done on a computer.
    • No doubt. People have masturbated to erotic images for all recorded history, but one or more of these companies likely have patents covering that activity in combination with the internet.
      • I can't imagine the uproar that would occur if having a good wank would incur a license fee...

  • by sarbonn (1796548) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:24AM (#35665174) Homepage Journal
    As a healthcare professional who does data analysis for a number of hospitals, this sounds like a great idea, but at the same time I also realize the limitations of conducting this algorithm process. To begin with, HIPAA compliance laws make it very difficult to share specific data about patients, which means someone trying to put together this type of information, or statistical based program process, is going to have to do it sans data, creating false data that isn't actually real case information. Which then means that even if you are capable of providing an algorithm that fulfills the functionality, the designers of the prize program are most likely going to stand up and say that it's not transferrable to real cases because you didn't account for the specific variables that are present in real world data (meaning you can't predict data that is actually already there due to the amount of errors in guesswork involved). If they made available the actual data they want extracted, this might be a possible process. But until they do, it is like guessing statistical outcomes of a presidential race without knowing anything about the people who might be actually running.
    • Oh stop. This is very easy. No coding required:

      Your gonna die.

      Could do this in Visual Basic!
    • by Motard (1553251)

      They will be providing access to a de-identified database. So you should have all the data that would be available in a real world application.

    • by FridayBob (619244)

      As a healthcare professional who does data analysis for a number of hospitals, this sounds like a great idea, ...

      How can you say that when the US health insurance industry has such an awful track record of discriminating against applicants who admit that they have a medical history with any of a very long list of possible ailments? AFAIK, this is not something that people are subjected to anywhere else in the world. This algorithm represents a double-edged sword that, once they have it (if they ever get it), they will use the wrong way: "What's that, no history of any medical problems, you say? Well, our algorithm pr

  • The Heritage Provider Network wants to do for healthcare what technology in the film Minority Report did for police work. In other words,

    They're going to have doctors using jetpacks to rush to medical crisis? They're going to have have huge data entry systems where you need massive upper body strength to work all day? They're going to have iris scanning all over the place so you're viagra ads are targetted directly to you?

    Oh .. you mean the use of *human* pyschics to predict the future! That sure is a weird definition of technology.

    • by hoggoth (414195)

      If you think it requires "massive upper body strength" to lift your hand and point, you should really rethink your fitness plan.

  • Super duper easy. The chronic diseases of civilization that cost us the most money (obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc), all have their source in the effect of the hormone insulin. Insulin levels are raised by high blood sugar levels, and blood sugar levels are raised by carbohydrate intake.

    Now, you probably won't find that data in people's medical records, but if they started tracking that, I think they'd have an excellent predictor of future problems.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Super duper easy. The chronic diseases of civilization that cost us the most money (obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc), all have their source in the effect of the hormone insulin. Insulin levels are raised by high blood sugar levels, and blood sugar levels are raised by carbohydrate intake.

      Now, you probably won't find that data in people's medical records, but if they started tracking that, I think they'd have an excellent predictor of future problems.

      And your medical degree was from where? While it is true that once one is diabetic, carbs are an issue. Obesity is not so much carb related but the input of calories exceed the expenditure of calories, that could be carbs, more likely fats, and definitely a sedentary life style., Most heart disease has nothing to do with carb intake and actually after a heart attack, most survivors are placed on a high carb low fat diet.

      Carbs do raise your blood sugar levels, of course so do protein and fats, unless you a

      • Actually, the tired old trope of "calories in, calories out" has been thoroughly refuted by a number of studies, detailed in Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories". Google for "gary taubes berkeley", watch his lecture, then get back to me.

        A few more corrections:

        1) proteins and fats have nearly zero effect on blood sugar levels. google "glycemic index"

        2) there is no such thing as an essential carbs -> you can, and people have, lived very well without carbs. google "masai" and "inuit"

        3) poor cholest

  • It's a good idea, but as soon as you include "claims data" in your modeling, it becomes an insurance/actuarial process. Why would claims data matter? Besides, isn't this what primary care doctors are currently tasked with? Maybe they'd prefer to work both sized of that insurance equation - raise premiums and reduce personnel costs?

    • by Motard (1553251)

      They're using claims data because that's the data they have. They don't have the full medical records. They're a provider network. They don't set premiums.

  • Isn't the wider problem that no one has "Money that didn't have to be spent" on their balance sheets? If people regularly claim on their health insurance (I assume that's how it works? UK resident here) won't their cover suffer in some fashion down the line even if the times they picked to claim where 100% right decisions that removed the need for much more expensive future claims?

  • by symes (835608) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:27AM (#35665212) Journal

    So there I was, walking down the street minding my own business... when a van screeches to halt in front of me. Five (5!) scantily clad nurses throw me to the ground and give me the kiss of life. Who knew I was about to be run over?

    • by symes (835608)

      Actually, I'm confused... The algorithm is to predict costly hospitalisations? Surely there are some diseases where hospitalisation is the best way of reducing premature death (heart bypass?) In this case, would the algorithm be expected to leave these guys alone as they are more likely to suffer death than hospitalisation? And... surely the BEST way of improving health (if this is what they are really interested in) is to get people when they are young and steering them away from unhealthy lifestyles (alco

      • by vlm (69642)

        get people when they are young and steering them away from unhealthy lifestyles (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc.)?

        Can't fix stupid. However, if they've already pushed the self destruct button, its possible that they could be steered toward a cheaper, faster demise rather than a slow expensive trainwreck. I can see the ads now "For patients whom drink more than 12 beers every day, and only patient whom drink more than 12 beers every day, the Surgeon General recommends that methanol and OJ is a better drink than ethanol and OJ; bottoms up!"

        Remember they're not in the business of improving health, they're in the busines

  • I'm sure once they get their hands on this algorithm it'll be turned into a patentable "system and method" [slashdot.org].
  • I find this disturbing. So the "Heritage Provider Network" is willing to submit healthy people to weekly or even daily blood tests in order to feed these algorithms? When you add up the total cost of the "prediction", it ends up being greater than the total cost of treating the condition. Or perhaps they think that they can use magic to predict who is going to get sick when. I mean, statistics can give you a general idea, but they absolutely cannot say what will happen in your particular case. The secret t
    • by bws111 (1216812)

      Where does it say anything about daily (or otherwise) blood tests? It specifically says they want to analyze available information, like claims data. So if they get a claim for diagnostic code x for someone, then months later get a claim for code y, then code z, they want to be able to analyze that and recommend some preventative measures so the person does not wind up hospitalized. Yes, this is the sort of thing a doctor would normally do, but many people go to different doctors for different conditions

  • by srussia (884021) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @08:52AM (#35665432)
    IF $PERSON watched Jackass 3D AND says "Hey guys, watch this!"

    THEN Do not insure
  • The commonest disabilities in the western world are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and multiple arthritis from being too heavy for your poor bones to handle.

    I'm a GP doctor; as folk walk in the door, it is usually obvious who is going to be at risk for future problems. They are fat, overflowing my poor abused seats, they groan as they stand up, they are obviously unfit. As a added bonus, I can often smell the cigarettes on their breath.

    Does knowing who is at risk help? Sadly, all too often it doesnt.

    Lazy

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      The commonest disabilities in the western world are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and multiple arthritis from being too heavy for your poor bones to handle.

      I'm a GP doctor; as folk walk in the door, it is usually obvious who is going to be at risk for future problems. They are fat, overflowing my poor abused seats, they groan as they stand up, they are obviously unfit. As a added bonus, I can often smell the cigarettes on their breath.

      Does knowing who is at risk help? Sadly, all too often it doesnt.

      Lazy fat slobs will on average die considerably younger of way too many diseases, and I have not even mentioned chronic crappy disabilities like back pain, hip pain, knee pain. I pride myself that I turn a few of these folks to the bright side of eating a bit better, exercising a tad more, and thus living longer and actually enjoying those healthy extra years.

      You don't need an algorithm to work out who is at risk of future disease, it is bloody obvious (can I have my $3M now?). The problem is getting these fat, unfit folk to realise there is more to exercise than driving to buy their next greasy pizza.

      Oh! they deliver now as well...

      If you truly are a physician, It's hard to understand why you would choose to stay in practice with the arrogant attitude you have towards your patients. I am so glad that in your humanitarian care, you have chosen to turn a few of these burdensome patients of yours to the bright side. If what you posted it really how you feel, then it is truly sad for the patients you treat. They deserve better than that, whether sick or not, whether overweight or not, whether you like their choices or not.

  • While it may be a noble effort to try and predict when people will be sick and need major medical care or even use the information to provide preventative measures before the events occur, there is also much potential for the information to be misused. The same information to predict serious illness can also be used to deny coverage to those individuals that have negative predictions

    70 years ago, splitting the atom led to the expectation of cheap, safe, unlimited energy. However, as the world found out, th

  • as a person that has had multiple undiagnosed illnesses over the years that I had to finally diagnose myself and then demand tests that my healthcare provider didn't want to administer, only to find out I indeed had the diseases I was concerned about (graves disease and pernicious anemia) I can state for a fact that there is a very simple way to preemptively diagnose disease.

    In both cases I had symptoms that CLEARLY indicated the diseases I had. In both cases, standard rudimentary tests that cost just a few
  • void blood_sucking_jackals (Customer foolish_human)
    {
    do {
    foolish_human.current_year_premium = foolish_human.previous_year_premium * 1.1;
    for (i=0; i < foolish_human.number_outstanding_medical_claims; i++)
    foolish_human.medical_claim[i] = DENIED;
    foolish_human.SendMessage.("F-U");
    } while (
  • Isn't this technology called a doctor?
  • IMHO, people in this country (legal or not) seem to be hypochondriacs. You've got people going to see a doctor for the common cold and sprained ankles. Tincture of Time tends to heal these ailments and many many others. So how about people staying home unless they're REALLY sick?

    Also, people seem to misunderstand the purpose of health insurance. It is not, repeat NOT, health care and treatment. It is insurance against the remote chance that you have a major problem. If people understood that and paid

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