In the life of every individual personal health is of tantamount importance, and because of the gravity of the issue of health there is an ongoing debate regarding patient need and insurance greed. What is often perceived as pure greed on the part of insurance companies by a patient is attributable to many other medical factors that are either misunderstood or ignored by a consumer. This is not to imply that there are not insurance entities that are motivated purely by profit, but an important component of the relationship between insurance company and consumer is the patient’s ability to comprehend what generally defines adequate care from inadequate.
Obviously, we all desire the best possible treatment options when diagnosed with an illness, however most of us lack the medical knowledge to decide what is truly the most cost effective. Success in combating disease and illness is not always proportionate with the amount of resources directed at the curative process. Especially when confronted with our own mortality, it is human nature to become absorbed within our own agenda, losing sight of the “big picture”. In hard cold terms, there are some illnesses that will nearly always end in a premature death regardless of what drastic and expensive measures are applied to them. The issue becomes one of addressing the greater good, in keeping that individual comfortable until their demise while redirecting resources to patients that have a reasonable chance of recovery.
These decisions in allocating insurance monies are not only impacted by the insurance carriers themselves, but by what is generally perceived within the medical community as reasonable care. Established and conventional procedures and treatments for a given illness are more likely to be approved by an insurance company than those that are new or unproven by a long history of case study. An individual’s personal physician plays a major role in this entire process simply by presenting a patient with realistic picture of the road ahead, without excessive negativity or enabling false hope for recovery. In some instances, an aggressive and caring doctor can present a viable case for a treatment that may have been otherwise discarded as an option.
Finally, it is important to remain objective in viewing an insurance company as a business entity, designed to provide a reasonable service in return for a reasonable profit. While it is nearly impossible to view a life and death situation without some emotional attachment on some level, interaction between a patient and an insurance company is purely business.