Dr. Joseph Viadero, a primary care physician in private practice in Franklin County, talked to the PBS News Hour a few weeks ago about the impact Massachusetts health reform is having on his patients. In just his own practice, he reports increases in preventive care and screening among his formerly uninsured patients, which has resulted in dramatic medical interventions:
“I already picked up a person with breast cancer who had a mammogram that would not have had a mammogram unless she had preventive care. I had another patient that had a colonoscopy routinely that was asymptomatic, that would have not had sought care without insurance, and ended up having colon cancer. There are a variety of other patients that we detected diabetes or hypertension that would not have come to see us unless they had insurance.”
Multiply this small practice times the 400,000-plus newly covered by Massachusetts health reform, and you get lots and lots of people getting vital care they need.