What We're Reading: Physician Bias Leads to Worse Care for Obese Patients

What we're reading, September 26, 2016: the obesity rate in America has been rising steadily, but the health system is ill equipped to treat these patients; the pros and cons of mail-order medications; and barring recipients of federal funding from preventing money from going to Planned Parenthood.

The obesity rate in America has been growing steadily for 2 decades, but the health system remains ill equipped to treat overweight and obese patients. According to The New York Times, a lack of machines built big enough to service obese patients, drug doses that aren’t calibrated properly, and other difficulties mean obese patients often receive worse care than patients who are not overweight or obese. In addition, most doctors are reluctant to look beyond weight when it comes to diagnosing health problems.

Mail-order medications may have a number of benefits, but getting prescriptions through the mail may not be well suited to all medications. Convenience is a driver for mail-order prescriptions, but savings are not guaranteed and not all medications should be mail ordered, according to The Washington Post. Mail programs are ideal for drugs used on an ongoing basis that will be taken at a set dosage for a long time. However, issues can arise when a dosage changes, generics may not always be available right away, and certain drugs have shipping restrictions.

A proposal from the Obama administration would prevent recipients of federal family planning grants from preventing the money from going to Planned Parenthood. The Associated Press reported that the changes to the Title X grant program would bar recipients from placing their own eligibility restrictions on where the money can go. The program was designed to provide contraception services, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and other services to low-income patients. It only pays for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger.