Doctor Shopping: The Good & The Bad
"Doctor shopping" is a term that can often be associated with both good and bad things. While deciding on the best doctor for you, doctor shopping can result in an extensive search and present numerous questions. We are here to clear up this confusing term by going over the good and the bad of doctor shopping.
Bad news first.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "the term 'doctor shopping' has traditionally referred to a patient obtaining controlled substances from multiple healthcare practitioners without the prescribers’ knowledge of the other prescriptions." Clearly, this type of doctor shopping is illegal, but the laws in place don't always do a perfect job of catching these doctor shoppers. Especially when patients go to different doctors in different states, sometimes the technology doesn't pick up on it and causes a miscommunication where doctors unintentionally can provide additional medications that either the patient doesn't need or that puts the patient in danger.
It's important to shed light on this issue because last year alone, nearly 50,000 people died from overdoses... that more than 1.5 times the amount of people that die in car accidents. A majority of these overdoses are related to prescription drugs and therefore, possibly doctor shopping.
Now, the good.
After hearing the common definition of doctor shopping, you may be wondering how any good can be associated with doctor shopping. Let's make one thing clear: it's a different kind of doctor shopping that we're talking about. Essentially, we're talking about healthcare consumerism.
Consumerism has become one of the biggest changes/movements in the healthcare industry and while it has some negative aspects, we think it's ultimately pretty great. Patients are taking much more active approaches in their own healthcare experiences and this empowers them to "doctor shop" or choose their own healthcare options and make their own decisions.
Transitively, since consumerism has become integrated in our healthcare system, the focus has shifted more toward patient satisfaction too. Patients will continue giving business to healthcare facilities where they feel like they are treated the way they deserve to be treated. At Carlsbad Open MRI, we believe our patients should always come first, so of course we support them in choosing whichever service they will feel most comfortable doing and we encourage them to "shop" for the best.
If you have any questions about why Carlsbad Open MRI might be the best option for you, please give us a call at 575.628.1234. We'd more than happy to assist you with finding the best doctor for you.