Doctors

Readers And Tweeters: Doctors Chime In On Telemedicine Costs

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names.


Next Time Take Time To Consult Doctors On Telehealth

As a cardiologist and pediatrician at the University of Mississippi, I take issue with your article about telemedicine (“Telehealth Will Be Free, No Copays, They Said. But Angry Patients Are Getting Billed,” April 27). Describing the care sessions as “phone chats,” as the headline on the companion NPR article did, substantially misrepresents what we do. Why did the article get published without the point of view of a single physician? The nature of this complaint boils down to this — I would never try to ask you to write journal articles for me, for free. We, in medicine, ask the same of you. If all phone consultations with physicians were free, we would never

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Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors As Heart Attack And Stroke Patients Delay Care

The patient described it as the worst headache of her life. She didn’t go to the hospital, though. Instead, the Washington state resident waited almost a week.

When Dr. Abhineet Chowdhary finally saw her, he discovered she had a brain bleed that had gone untreated.

The neurosurgeon did his best, but it was too late.

“As a result, she had multiple other strokes and ended up passing away,” said Chowdhary, director of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute in Bellevue, Washington. “This is something that most of the time we’re able to prevent.”

Chowdhary said the patient, a stroke survivor in her mid-50s, had told him she was frightened of the hospital.

She was afraid of the coronavirus.

The fallout from such fear has concerned U.S. doctors for weeks while they have tracked a worrying trend: As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the number of patients showing up at hospitals with serious

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Seniors With COVID-19 Show Unusual Symptoms, Doctors Say

Older adults with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have several “atypical” symptoms, complicating efforts to ensure they get timely and appropriate treatment, according to physicians.

COVID-19 is typically signaled by three symptoms: a fever, an insistent cough and shortness of breath. But older adults — the age group most at risk of severe complications or death from this condition ― may have none of these characteristics.

Instead, seniors may seem “off” — not acting like themselves ― early on after being infected by the coronavirus. They may sleep more than usual or stop eating. They may seem unusually apathetic or confused, losing orientation to their surroundings. They may become dizzy and fall. Sometimes, seniors stop speaking or simply collapse.

“With a lot of conditions, older adults don’t present in a typical way, and we’re seeing that with COVID-19 as well,” said Dr. Camille Vaughan, section chief of geriatrics

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How Climate Change Is Putting Doctors In The Hot Seat

BOSTON — A 4-year-old girl was rushed to the emergency room three times in one week for asthma attacks.

An elderly man, who’d been holed up in a top-floor apartment with no air conditioning during a heat wave, showed up at a hospital with a temperature of 106 degrees.

A 27-year-old man arrived in the ER with trouble breathing ― and learned he had end-stage kidney disease, linked to his time as a sugar cane farmer in the sweltering fields of El Salvador.

These patients, whose cases were recounted by doctors, all arrived at Boston-area hospitals in recent years. While the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of doctor-patient conversations these days, there’s another factor continuing to shape patients’ health: climate change.

Global warming is often associated with dramatic effects such as hurricanes, fires and floods, but patients’ health issues represent the subtler ways that climate change is showing up

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