RSS Articles and Information
  • Monitoring Patient Compliance with Mobile Devices April 1, 2015
    Company iGetBetter hopes that remote patient monitoring with phone apps and wearables will reduce hospital admissions and increase patient compliance after procedures. The platform allows patients to access post-op directions on a mobile device, ask questions, and send data directly …
  • Americans Can’t Afford to Use Insurance They Own March 30, 2015
    One in three Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or a family member because of cost. Many patients, 25% of the non-elderly, don’t have enough cash to cover a mid-range deductible of $1,200-$2,400. These patients need to shop around …
  • Third Party Free Medical Practice Case Studies March 28, 2015
    Dr. Kathy Brown, Jack Brown, and Dr. Keith Smith speak at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAPS, September 2013. http://www.oregonderm.com/ & http://surgerycenterok.com
  • A Tale of 2 Prices…or 3?‏ March 27, 2015
    by Ralph Weber About a year and a half ago, Perry Hunt needed a hip replacement. He had been in constant pain for years and owned a construction company, and could not afford to take the 6 months off that …
  • Tisha Casida interviews Ralph Weber: Free Market Solutions to Healthcare March 25, 2015
    Tisha Casida with Rebellion.life interviews CEO of MediBid, Ralph Weber, about his work educating the public and the government about common sense health care solutions. MediBid is an online marketplace with true transparency, listing not only prices, but qualities and …
  • Small Business Coverage Uncertain Future with Association Health Plans March 23, 2015
    For the last 20 years, small businesses in Washington state have relied heavily on associations and trusts to provide healthcare insurance for their workers at lower cost than in the open market. The system is popular and works well, a …
  • Outpatient Surgery Saves Patients Time and Money March 20, 2015
    The death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to …
  • Study Finds Hormones Can Help Younger Women Through Menopause March 18, 2015
    Hormone replacement therapy used to only be given to women who had completed menopause, relieving hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other symptoms. In 2009, about 8 million women used HRT, most over the age of 60. A recent Cochrane review finds …
  • Retail Health Care Clinics Multiply with Increasing Demand March 16, 2015
    Integrated care facilities offer primary care, specialty services, labs, and diagnostics all under one roof. These clinics follow a model common in Latin America. This consumer-focused type of providing medical care is gaining in popularity and increasing in number since …
  • Avoiding Caregiver Burnout March 13, 2015
    Over 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses, or other loved ones. Most family caregivers are spouses or children. The demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and can take a toll on your health, relationships, and sanity – …
  • It is Safe to Assume They Lie March 11, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith, MD I laugh every time I see headlines bragging about the number of people enrolled in “Obamacare.”  What choice to people have, after all?  ”Buy this crappy insurance plan (that you wouldn’t buy unless you were …
  • FinalHayes1 March 11, 2015
  • Physician Burnout – What To Do March 9, 2015
    Signs of physician burnout can range from decreased enthusiasm for work, increased cynicism and a low sense of accomplishment.  Where at one time the physician may have felt a burning passion for medicine, he may feel that “light” burning out, perhaps …
  • Increasing Wait Times for Hip Surgery Ruin Patients’ Lives March 6, 2015
    Frustrated patients in British Columbia are in constant pain as their wait times for hip replacement surgeries increase. Wait times for joint replacements have increased in most Canadian provinces despite promises from the government to address the problem. B.C. is …
  • Staying Physically Active: How Much Exercise is Right for You? March 4, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Everyone knows that the key to keeping a healthy body is a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. What is considered “regular” differs from person to person. The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) first …
  • Supreme Court to Hear New Obamacare Case This Week March 2, 2015
    Later this week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the results of which could affect the future of Obamacare. This case addresses if consumers who buy health insurance at HealthCare.gov are eligible to receive tax credits …
  • How to Fight and Prevent Sugar Cravings February 27, 2015
    The average American consumes about 16 teaspoons more sugar per day than what is recommended. Sugar causes the brain to release serotonin, creating a natural high, and the endorphins leave us wanting more. Kicking a sugar addiction can be tough, …
  • Hospital Closures Bring “New Day” in Healthcare February 25, 2015
    Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing, as patients seek more affordable medical care at clinics and outpatient surgery centers. A low occupancy rate makes for a high-priced facility, which is not competitive. These closures are due to the …
  • Do Your Part to Protect Your Heart – February Special February 23, 2015
    February is Heart month. Protect the health of your heart, preventing heart disease and stroke, with a simple blood test. Below are the February specials from DirectLabs. Lipid Profile – $19 (Regular Price $29, $98 Retail) Test includes: Cholesterol, Total …
  • The Various Dimensions of Mammogram Screening February 20, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Every year, over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 40,000 will die from it. When breast cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat. Forty million mammograms are performed each …

The Great Cholesterol Myth: A Book Review

by Lee Kurisko, MD

Have you ever been told by your doctor that your cholesterol is a bit high and you need to be on a statin medication to reduce it?  If so, you better read this book.   I have actually found that this book is a page-turner that I had having difficulty putting down.  Admittedly, I am a geek for this type of thing, but the message of this book should be considered by the at least 11 million people in the United States consuming these medications.

Several years ago, I too was told by my family practitioner that my cholesterol was too high and I needed to start a statin.  As an MD myself and a perpetual skeptic, I questioned the notion of poisoning one of the key biochemical pathways in my body just to make a lab test look better when I was in the peak of health and at low risk for heart disease.  My skepticism was justified and this book confirms it.

After that visit to the doctor, I read voraciously on the subject and consulted with a preventative cardiologist that I implicitly trust.  I have since learned more in the extensive cardiovascular section of my Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional medicine fellowship program.  All tolled, I have spent innumerable hours on the topic.  If I were to do it over again, I would have read The Great Cholesterol Myth first.

Drs. Bowden and Sinatra have done a brilliant job distilling the essential points of this complex topic.  Catering to the intelligent layperson, anyone that takes the time to read this book will likely have a better grasp of the topic than their own doctors, cardiologists included.

Of late, it has been considered an unquestionable axiom that high cholesterol must be lowered with statin medications.   There is even a school of thought that people with normal cholesterol levels should be on statin meds to reduce it further.

If you read this book, you will see the madness in such claims. Cholesterol is a key component of every cell membrane in your body.  If you had no cholesterol, you would be instantly dead.  The brain is the richest repository of cholesterol and its presence is crucial for cognition and memory.  Without cholesterol, we would be sexless eunuchs incapable of reproduction.  Cholesterol is also necessary for manufacturing cortisol and related hormones required to deal with stress, maintain blood pressure, and the mineral balance of our bodies.  Cholesterol is the precursor of Vitamin D, which is essential for health.  Cholesterol is a precursor for bile, which is necessary for digestion.

The premise of the book is that the benefits of pharmaceutical suppression of cholesterol are marginal at best and only apply to a very limited segment of the population.   With limited benefit, the potential side effects are legion.

The group that may have some benefit from cholesterol meds are middle-aged males that have already had a heart attack.  According to Bowden and Sinatra there is no benefit for other groups.  Even with the potentially reduced risk of cardiovascular death for this select group, it must be kept in mind that all-cause mortality is not reduced.  That is epidemiology-speak for the fact that taking a statin will not lengthen your life by a single day!  The risk of death from cardiovascular disease may go down fractionally, but your risk of dying of other things goes up!  The cardiovascular benefit is barely measurable.  One meta-analysis showed only a 1.5 percent absolute risk reduction for a cardiac event.  Side effects are common.  I suspect that few patients would agree to consuming a medication with serious potential side effects for such a slight benefit.

Muscular weakness and pain are common side effects.  Statins even increase your risk of congestive heart failure when their purported purpose is to prevent heart disease!  Statins are now recognized to increase the risk of diabetes, and they may even increase the risk of depression and cancer!

The good Drs. Bowden and Sinatra also handily debunk the notion that saturated fat is bad for us and instead cast the blame for cardiovascular disease squarely where it belongs, on trans-fats and omega six polyunsaturated fats along with processed carbohydrates.  A recent meta-analysis of 21 studies with a total of 347,747 patients followed between five and twenty-three years showed absolutely zero correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease.  That is an enormous number of patients followed over a very significant time period.  Despite this, we still hear the mantra to reduce our intake of saturated fat.

I give two thumbs way up for The Great Cholesterol Myth.   Even before reading this book, I had made the decision that I would not touch a statin med with a ten-foot pole.  That has been my decision looking at my own situation.  I do not recommend that you make any changes on your own, but if you take these meds, you better have a serious conversation with your physician.  If he or she is not familiar with these issues, tell him about this book, and if they won’t read it, get another physician.

Lee Kurisko MD is Chief Medical Officer of MediBid.  He is trained as a family physician, radiologist, and neuroradiologist. He is author of “Health Reform- The End of the American Revolution?”  He is now pursuing Board Certification in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.”   His blogposts on health and fitness can now be seen at www.healthandfitnessdoctor.com



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
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