Regarding the article about various popular diets [“But do they work?” Aug. 6]: It’s unfortunate that neither the author nor the two experts she consulted appear to have understood the science underpinning Michael Moseley’s “The Fast Diet.”
Done right, fasting can achieve much more than shedding excess pounds. Resting the digestive system enables the body to focus on DNA repair. The brain, deprived of satiety, appears to generate new brain cells. The regimen has been shown to reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and IGF-1 (insulin growth factor) — key measures of risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
There is nothing gimmicky about calorie restriction. To paraphrase Dr. Moseley’s BBC documentary: In poor countries, people die of malnutrition; in rich countries, we die from overeating.
Nan Wellins, Silver Spring
Right on, Chris Core!! [“I’m one reason America’s health care is so pricey,” Aug. 6].
I am currently challenging a $911 cost from a Colorado hospital for a hand splint after a skiing mishap. I questioned the charge when I realized I could buy the same item for under $50 on the Internet.
Robert Kimball, Washington
I had an experience very similar to Core’s about 18 months ago. When I asked about the costs, the receptionist told me that their billing office was always late getting the bills out. I didn’t find out how expensive it all was until I’d already had about 10 sessions. And most of my sessions were with a therapist just watching me do my exercises. We should all be more careful of how our insurance dollars are spent. Mine bought little value.
Annette Warder, Silver Spring
Most insurance companies only pay between $40 and $70 per visit, no matter what the bill is. Also, quite often the request for further details from the practice by the insurance company is to try and avoid paying at all due to their concept of what is medically necessary, not what your doctor or your therapist feels is needed.
I also have an issue with your writing about your therapist being only a year out of PT school. Would you have written the same way if it was your MD? Did you ask the MD how long they were out of school?
Also, your article made it sound like the 45 minutes or one hour of treatment was maybe somehow not enough. How much time did you spend with your MD? What was his bill? Did you average the time spent with him compared to the time spent with the PT and see who was costing more? Did you check to see how much the MD billed?
I will say that some practices have abused the system before, but as a private practice owner for almost 30 years, I personally do not, and I take offense at making it sound as though it is all about the money when [the author] received skilled care including hands-on work, specific exercises for his condition and and a comprehensive home program, and got better.
Sean P. Gallagher, Founder and Director, Performing Arts Physical Therapy, New York
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