One Way to Fix the Healthcare System

A man takes a blood sample to check blood sugar.

This article in the LA Times is all about diabetes.  Did you know that about half of Americans have diabetes or prediabetes?  HALF!  You can read the piece for more of the specifics but I pulled out the ones I felt important:

  • The number of newly diagnosed cases of diabetes among children and teens under the age of 18 each year is 132,000 with only 17,900 being type 1. 
  • 61% of U.S. adults diagnosed with diabetes are obese.
  • 41% of U.S. adults diagnosed with diabetes got less than 10 minutes of “moderate or vigorous” exercise at work, during their leisure time and as a means of transportation.
  • 16% of U.S. adults diagnosed with diabetes are smokers; 35% used to smoke but quit.
  • The total cost of caring for Americans with diabetes in 2012 is $254 billion. It averages out to $13,700 per diabetes patient, which is 2.3 times higher than for people who don’t have diabetes.

For one second let’s be realistic.  Forget being political correctness.  Let’s not throw around the “shaming” word.  I am not trying to mock anyone.  A very small part of being a type 2 diabetic comes from genetic predisposition.  It is mostly a disease of lifestyle.  What we eat is killing us.  These numbers above are astronomical.  We cannot fix the healthcare system until some responsibility is placed back on the patient.  End of story. I am not saying this will be easy.  I am just being honest.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “One Way to Fix the Healthcare System

  1. T Newberry
    August 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    “Personal responsibility” is a joke in the face of the American food environment. You can out-think your autonomic processes only in the short term. Get into an argument with your body and you will eventually lose that argument.

    Like it or not, the only way to address this at the society level is to tightly regulate the production and marketing of food products. Nobody has ever done that effectively, so good luck with that.

    • Kurt
      August 13, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      I have a business card that says “Eat Shit and Die!” With the usual particulars to the practice.

      If a patient is incensed, I don’t want them, if they laugh, I can work with them whether or not
      they change their “bad” habits.

      Although with the ivory tower b****rds wanting to hold me accountable for people’s behaviors
      I might have to rethink this.

  2. Pat
    August 7, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I talked myself blue in private practice trying to get patients to exercise.

    Now they waddle into the ER for pain pills for their knee-grinding, lumbar-squashing obesity, and I just say “nope” and send them back to their PCP. It’s very sad, and sadder still that we encourage and subsidize it in so many ways.

  3. RSW
    August 7, 2017 at 11:29 am

    But it’s so much easier to blame the doctors!

  4. August 7, 2017 at 8:36 am

    There is cornstarch added to Gerber baby food. Do not blame the victims here. We are addicted to added carbs from almost birth. Here is where my usual libertarian stance breaks down; added sugars by any name MUST be regulated. Doug, have you tried to eat a no-added-sugar diet? I have, and it is very, very difficult.

    • Bridget Reidy
      August 7, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      At a farmers market I asked the vendor what the difference between the human grade ingredient dog cookies and the other cookies was and she said sugar. I asked my vet niece if dogs are any worse at handling sugar than humans and she said no.
      Still can’t find foods prepared for humans without sugar added, and just can’t understand why the public hasn’t caught on.
      Ultimately the cause of most deaths is stupidity.
      Unfortunately the farmers markets where I live now don’t have dog cookies.

Comments are closed.