Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2022

Currently: 83° — Complete forecast

Letter to the editor:

Patients’ poor choices hurt us all

In reference to the recent story about a study that found that many patients shun heart medication, the doctors are quoted as being “stunned” that patients won’t take the drugs, even if they are free.

This just underscores what hospital nurses have known for years — namely, that it is patients who do not comply with their doctors’ orders that make up the majority of whom are called the “frequent flyers” — those patients who constantly make their way to hospital emergency rooms (with the corresponding high cost) with complications of their diseases because they refuse to manage the diseases themselves.

Diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure make up the majority of these “flyers” and can all be managed with simple regimens, but often are not. Not because of any lack of information (nurses are required to educate patients upon release on how to manage their condition) but because of a lack of motivation. Recent health care statistics indicate that preventable illness makes up approximately 80 percent of the burden of illness and 90 percent of all health care costs.

Yet, the finger is pointed at everyone else because it is a person’s “right” to engage in any (legal) activity he wants. In the meantime, we pay for the irresponsibility, either through taxes for the county hospital or higher insurance premiums. Until we make people accountable for their own choices, health care costs will continue to grow.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy