Today's New York Times carries an article by Natasha Singer, "The Price of Beauty". It points out how this has become the 'Engine for Success" in many dermatology, ophthalmology, and ENT practices. It however failed to point out that this is ocurring in non surgical practices such as family medicine, and yes, even OB/GYN. Reader's comments range from understanding and commiseration to outright condemnation of these practices.
Cosmetic laser treatments, botox injections, collagen filling procedures, vein removal procedures, ophthalmologic procedures such as laser refractive surgery, premium multifocal intraocular lense cataract procedures offer the opportunity to stay afloat or drown in a sea of rising cost, and reductions in reimbursement.
For most physicians who practice without these cosmetic procedures, it is an easy step into this realm, at first noting that the economic pressure is reduced, then gradually it begins to take over the practice....It is not an admirable occurence, and those who do it cringe at what they have become.
There is no doubt that the 'engine for health care' should and must be caring for those who are ill. When and if money is removed from the equation is a very doubtful prospect....communism tried it.....and failed. Would socialized medicine, or universal payor solve the problem?