Over-diagnosis

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In August 2018 the British Medical Journal published a lengthy review article1 dealing with the issue of over-diagnosis. This is defined as the diagnosis of a condition (often subsequently treated) that would otherwise not cause symptoms or harm to a patient during his or her lifetime. Over-diagnosis arises in a number of ways, including: The broadening of disease definitions via lowering of diagnostic thresholds and the recognition of risk factors as pre-diseases Greater use of technology and technological advances that improve testing sensitivity More widespread screening programmes Physicians’ over-estimation of the benefits of treatment in mild or low-risk disease Changing…

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Interesting times in a land ‘down under’

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Australia has always been an interesting market protection business-wise. And in the past few months it has become even more interesting. In 2016 there were some startling revelations on the ABC TV news programme Four Corners. The programme revealed a ‘disturbing culture’ at an insurer where critical illness and TPD claims were being denied. The firm’s ex-chief medical officer claimed that he was put under increasing pressure to deny claims. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the story as follows: ‘A joint investigation between BusinessDay’s Adele Ferguson and ABC’s Four Corners this week revealed doctors in the bank being pressured to change…

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