An Entrepreneur Forces Health Care Change; Two Views of Chronic Disease...and the Color of Raw Milk
Another thought on the effort by Standard Process to keep its products off the Internet: Sometimes it’s hustling entrepreneurial companies that force the old fogies to make business changes they’ve been resisting. The Japanese manufacturers did it to Detroit’s Big Three. Internet companies have done in all manner of industries ranging from travel to books to jewelry. As I pointed out in my BusinessWeek.com article about Standard Process, a Long Island company headed by entrepreneur Martin Meyer is fighting for the public’s right to buy Standard Process products online. He’s doing it for profit but also for principle—to fight what he sees as an effort by Standard Process to control prices.
Rather than stop using Standard Process products, as I previously suggested I would do, maybe the better approach is to buy it from a place like Meyer’s Total Health Discount Vitamins, Amazon, or any other such outlet.
A related issue is that raised anew by Dave Milano and Michael—of how the judgment and allegiance of health care providers is compromised when financial incentives beckon as an outcome of their medical recommendations. It’s one thing when auto sales people have sales incentives, but it doesn’t seem appropriate to health care providers. To explain it based on the fact that they are underpaid (as Michael does) would be similar to justifying teachers selling toys to their students because the teachers are underpaid. I don’t think it would go over too well (though many schools have earned money by having Coke machines in their halls).
I spent some time this past weekend trying to whittle down my pile of magazines and blog links. A couple of intriguing items I came across:
New research about health and disease in the 1800s. There’s a tendency to assume that today’s seemingly pervasive chronic illnesses weren’t as much a problem 150 years ago. Not necessarily so.
New research, based on an extensive study of the records of Civil War veterans suggests that men in the late 1800s actually suffered from more chronic conditions than most people do today. The research is described in a lengthy article in the University of Chicago Magazine (my alma mater).
Major causes appear to have been malnutrition and heavy-duty manual labor (and perhaps a lack of understanding about the importance of nutrition). One thing that strikes me is that the average number of chronic conditions may have declined in modern times, but the actual types of conditions appear to have changed. For example, diabetes is a fairly recent malady.
Speaking of chronic illnesses, here’s another take. A friend of mine who’s in the nutritional supplement business, Pat Sullivan, has made an intriguing discovery about his own challenges with chronic illness. After much searching and exploration among health care providers, and treatments of all kinds, he learned that a brain injury when he was a teenager may well have been the culprit. He’s described his search and treatment in an ongoing series of posts on his blog. (It’s written in a series of six installments; my link takes you to the first installment.)
Actually, his experience reminded me of a segment in Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, Spontaneous Healing, (which I discussed a few months ago) in which he describes the success of a holistic provider in treating patients with chronic conditions. This provider believed that many chronic conditions emanate from seemingly slight head injuries, or even from difficult births.
Finally, not necessarily apropos of anything, but I’ve noticed that the raw goat’s milk I’ve begun drinking is as pure a white as I’ve ever seen. It stands out because it contrasts with the cow’s milk, which is an off-white. The fat content of each isn’t all that different. Maybe it’s the breed of animal? Or the cream content in the cow’s milk?
Speaking of raw milk, Jonathan asks in a comment on my posting concerning the wrapup of the Michigan Department of Agriculture case against Richard Hebron, why David Hochstetler received a warning letter from the FDA rather than Hebron. My understanding is that Hochstetler was making the deliveries, and was thus the one crossing state lines with the milk. As to the constitution, I'm not sure where it says individuals who are let off are entitled to compensation.