By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are many new treatments for a wide vvariety of chronic diseases that are not only extending lifespans but making a very real difference in overall health.READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Department Expects To Receive Doses Of Children's Pfizer Vaccine Prior To Approval From Federal Regulators
The good news is that the treatments are helping. The bad news is that certain major issues, like the cost of treatments and diagnostic tests and the side effects of treatment are not often discussed in detail.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni To Speak With Media
A new report in The New England Journal of Medicine has found that physicians need to talk more about these issues. This is important because as recently as 2011, a third of all families were struggling to pay their medical bills.
Another key step is not just discussing these issues but working with the patients to come up with less expensive options and weigh the risks versus benefits of all the issues.MORE NEWS: 21-Year-Old Aaron Scott Charged After Shooting Near Lincoln High School Killed Man, Injured 16-Year-Old
Social workers who specialize in health care can have a crucial role in providing support.