Tag Archive | "urology"

Urologists’ Growing Concern for 2010

Urology is the surgical specialty of urinary tracts and the male reproductive system. Nearly forty-three million men are affected by some form of urological disorder, whether it is bladder incontinence, urinary tract infections, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer, or congenital abnormalities. Some urologists will further specialize to treat either non-surgical conditions or the surgical conditions. This is generally uncommon in smaller hospitals and practices, but found in large urban centers.

This year, urologists across the country are expressing concern over urological health. Several factors have been specifically noted, such as urology demographics, a weak economy and aging population, and healthcare reform.

In regards to the growing concern over demographics, the National Kidney Foundation, NKF, has stated that over 5% of the United States population is affected by urologic disorders. And more than 260,000 deaths from these urological problems are reported each year. Ethnic populations are at a higher risk, and age is one of the largest contributing factors.

With the worsening economy, paired with an aging population, the field of urology has witnessed an overburdening effect. Many patients have lost jobs and their access to healthcare, and a significant number of doctors are refusing new Medicare patients. As a result, urology clinics are over flooded with patients with little to no insurance. Emergency medicine, urgent care, family practice, and internal medicine specialties are also witnessing this effect.

And as the baby boomers age and reach retirement years, a severe influx of older patients will be seen. Urological problems are a huge problem for patients over the age of 45. Urologists document that 90% of men over the age of 70 are afflicted with benign prostatic hyperplasia alone.

More urologists will be needed. If economic principles are taken into account, the supply-demand curve will indicate a rise in services as more patients will be seeking relatively few urologists. Because higher prices will be associated with urological visits and treatments, many patients will begin to ignore urological disorders far longer than they should. Permanent damage will ensue, leading to even more costly and intensive treatments. The already flooded emergency rooms will continue to increase its burdens.

Finally, healthcare reform will also be affecting most urology specialists. The reforms suggested will deem Medicare patients unprofitable. Potential physicians will reconsider going into the medical field, and those who are already in the field may look to other careers as they can no longer afford their practices. The quality of care for Medicare patients will decrease because of the overburdening effect from too few physicians compared to the number of Medicare patients. Urologist specialists, as well as other specialists in the medical field, may specifically be hurt because of the preferential treatment of certain specialties like internists and family practitioners. Internists and family practitioners will automatically receive 5-10% increases in reimbursements under the healthcare reform plan, and the remaining specialties will only qualify for the reimbursements if 50% of their patients are Medicare patients.

Overall, the urologists and specialists in this country fear for their careers. Not only are their jobs and profits on the line, but also their patients may experience a decrease in the quality of their care. This year has truly been a telling year for the field of urology.

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Advancements in Urology are Good, but What About the Bad?

Despite the numerous advancements in urology surgeries and medication therapies, many of these treatments still produce negative side-effects. And frequently the researchers of these treatments are failing to include the potential harms.

Recent analysis on medical literature reveals that there is a considerable deficiency in what is being reported as harmful side-effects and what harms are actually associated with the treatment. According to Dr. Rodney H. Breau of Ottawa University Hospital in Canada, “We found considerable deficiencies in harm reporting that do not seem to be improving with time.” Clinical research reports on the urological treatments are often leaving out the information concerning adverse side-effects, even if that information was gathered during the trial. In fact, Breau’s study is the first study to actually look into the field of urology to verify treatment research reports.

If this information is not being included, it is nearly impossible for urologists to make “strong recommendations for or against a treatment.” It also prevents patients of urological problems such as benign hyperplasia, interstitial cystititis, or prostatitis to make an informed decision on the type of treatment to undertake.
With nearly 20 percent of all studies not meeting the harm reporting criteria, patients may, justifiably, begin to question the overall benefit of the new surgeries and medications. Instead, many patients are beginning to turn toward natural supplements, which promise an all natural, safe, healthy, and effective treatment. For example, one natural supplement company, Farr Laboratories, produces several products such as BP-Q Max, Prosta-Q, Prourol, Cysta-Q, and Citurol Plus for a healthy bladder, prostate, and/or many other organs associated with urology. These products have all been researched, clinically tested, and physician recommended. The field of urology is seeing a turn toward a more natural remedy.

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