Target: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Goal: Push for greater adoption of cost-effective minimally invasive surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery using miniature cameras would offer patients a less traumatic, expensive and risky health option. Few people would probably greet the prospect of surgery with enthusiasm. In fact, many people understandably have high anxiety about going into a procedure. However, knowing that they are receiving the safest and most cost-effective method might make the outlook more manageable.
It works by inserting miniature cameras and tools into the abdomen through small incisions. The procedure was first used in an appendectomy in 1981, but is now common for other surgeries like hysterectomies and gallbladder removal. Performed correctly, minimally invasive surgery can reduce a patient’s risk of complications and allow for shorter hospital stays. Raise awareness of the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of minimally invasive surgery.
The potential savings both in physical and financial toll on patients are significant. According to a recent report in JAMA Surgery, if all hospitals did these minimally invasive surgeries, fairly common to begin with, as often as the top one third of hospitals, they would avoid 4,306 complications and 169,819 days in the hospital, and save $337 million a year.
Patients can take an active role in determining which surgery is best for them. By asking their doctors if they are good candidates for minimally invasive surgery, they can make a more informed choice about their health. By signing the petition below, you can enact change in the medical community and help eliminate this health disparity.
Dear Secretary Burwell,
I am writing in order to bring your attention to the potential that the minimally invasive surgery known as laparoscopy has to lower health care costs, increase patient safety, and reduce complications and recovery time.
Massive disparities in hospitals’ adoption of this practice mean that patients to whom minimally invasive surgery is not offered are at higher risk of complications and face longer hospital stays and higher health care expenses, according to a recent report in JAMA Surgery.
I understand that changing the culture surrounding this practice is no small task. However, in order to address people’s concerns over rising healthcare costs, I encourage you to lead the way in spreading the word about its benefits. Your voice matters crucially to setting an example for healthcare professionals and educating communities across the nation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: CMSRC via Wikimedia Commons