Let’s Keep Medicine Effective—Together

When used correctly and responsibly, antibiotics can be a powerful, even life-saving treatment against certain conditions. And yet antibiotic resistance is considered one of the biggest threats to global health today. What does that mean for you?

It means that understanding your diagnosis and treatment—and trusting your physician—are essential in order to make the most informed decision about your care. This keeps you confidently on the road to long-term health and helps keep antibiotics working for everyone.

Here's what it means to us.

We’re committed to improving the quality of life for individuals, communities and the world. Providing you with the right care at the right time—including when antibiotics are appropriate—is a key part of our mission.

Here's what it means to us.

We’re committed to improving the quality of life for individuals, communities and the world. Providing you with the right care at the right time—including when antibiotics are appropriate—is a key part of our mission.

Woman looking at pill bottle

Antibiotic Resistance, Defined:

Germs are like any good prizefighter. They get knocked down, but they’re not out. When antibiotics (their opponent) are the right course of action, germs take a hit and your health will improve; however, when the same medication is overprescribed and misused, often unnecessarily, those tough and crafty germs learn to adapt so they can get back up again and do their thing—make you sick.

The tougher and more resistant germs become to the tried-and-true treatment, the less power modern medicine has to knock them out.

Adding to the problem is the fact that while resistance is on the rise, the development of new antibiotics continues to decline. This further adds to the disparity between treatment options that work...and ones that don’t.

Glossary of Terms
Quick Glossary

Antibiotic: Medication used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Antibiotics are not effective against the common cold, influenza, bronchitis or viruses.

Antibiotic stewardship: The name for the global health initiative dedicated to curbing the unnecessary overuse of these medications, including how they are being prescribed by doctors.

Superbug: The strongest, toughest fighters. These strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi are resistant to common treatments, making our medicine ineffective.

Why does it matter?

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For you

Antibiotics are a great solution when used at the right time, like for treating bacterial infections. But more and more, due to antibiotic resistance, they work less and less, even when they should. Antibiotics may also cause side effects (upset stomach, yeast infection, diarrhea), leaving you feeling worse than before. And also...a little scared. Because you’re not getting better.

This means another visit to the doctor. Maybe more visits to the doctor, because the next treatment doesn’t work, either. Now you’re also feeling frustrated—over the inconvenience and the added costs around care and medications that aren’t working.

You’re also starting to feel powerless. Because this infection still isn’t going away. And modern medicine is running out of solutions.

Welcome to the world of antibiotic resistance.

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For everyone

For modern medicine

  • Higher medical costs
  • Increased mortality
  • Decreased ability to control public health threats
  • Infections become difficult—even impossible—to treat
  • More complications involving surgeries, chronic conditions and cancer care
Illustration: woman in a blanket on phone

Why does it matter?

Antibiotics are a great solution when used at the right time, like for treating bacterial infections. But more and more, due to antibiotic resistance, they work less and less, even when they should. Antibiotics may also cause side effects (upset stomach, yeast infection, diarrhea), leaving you feeling worse than before. And also...a little scared. Because you’re not getting better.

This means another visit to the doctor. Maybe more visits to the doctor, because the next treatment doesn’t work, either. Now you’re also feeling frustrated—over the inconvenience and the added costs around care and medications that aren’t working.

You’re also starting to feel powerless. Because this infection still isn’t going away. And modern medicine is running out of solutions.

Welcome to the world of antibiotic resistance.

Teal bar icon

For everyone

  • Higher medical costs
  • Increased mortality
  • Decreased ability to control public health threats
Teal bar icon

For modern medicine

  • Infections become difficult—even impossible—to treat
  • More complications involving surgeries, chronic conditions and cancer care
Illustration of people using technology

How you can make a difference

Be informed. Educate yourself on when antibiotics are an effective course of action, and how misuse leads to antibiotic resistance.
Be your own advocate. Knowing the difference between bacterial vs. viral infections makes it easier to start a dialogue with your physician when antibiotics are or aren't indicated.
Be open-minded. If you ask for antibiotics but your physician doesn't think it's the right treatment, trust that they are following practice standards set up to best support your health and keep drugs effective.

The prescription problem


One study1 of 19 million U.S. patients found that 51.8% of all antibiotic prescriptions were "inappropriate" or “potentially inappropriate” (i.e., deemed medically unnecessary).

Graphic representing 15%

By contrast, a recent internal review2 of 98point6 prescribing practices found that only 15% of antibiotic prescriptions were inappropriate or potentially inappropriate—a rate that is 71% lower.

Methodology:
The analysis is based on the methodology reported in “Appropriateness of outpatient antibiotic prescribing among privately insured US patients: ICD-10-CM based cross sectional study,” a peer-reviewed article published in BMJ. In that study, the authors assigned all ICD-10 codes a value of “always,” “sometimes” or “never” appropriate for antibiotic use. A total of 23.3% of all antibiotics that were used in the 19 million patient sample were used in association with a “never” ICD-10 code, and an additional 28.5% had no diagnostic code associated with the prescription. We applied the same assignment system to patients seen at 98point6, using the always/sometimes/never rubric for all ICD-10 codes used for cases from 6/1/2020 to 11/8/2020. A total of 14.88% of visits at 98point6 during that period were associated with an ICD-10 code classified as a “never” treat with antibiotics.” An additional 0.08% did not have an associated diagnostic code. Antibiotics with no associated code are “potentially inappropriate” because the reason for the antibiotic prescription is not documented.

Illustration of people using technology

How you can make a difference

Checkmark-ex-sm
Be informed. Educate yourself on when antibiotics are an effective course of action, and how misuse leads to antibiotic resistance.
Checkmark-ex-sm
Be your own advocate. Knowing the difference between bacterial vs. viral infections makes it easier to start a dialogue with your physician when antibiotics are or aren't indicated.
Checkmark-ex-sm
Be open-minded. If you ask for antibiotics but your physician doesn't think it's the right treatment, trust that they are following practice standards set up to best support your health and keep drugs effective.
Quotation Marks
98point6 physician, Dr. Cham, headshot in circle

“The best doctor-patient relationship is a partnership. We bring medical knowledge and expertise, but you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to taking ownership of your care. I always appreciate when patients speak up and ask questions—it’s the starting point to a productive dialogue.”

- Roxana Cham, MD

98point6 physician, Dr. Cham, headshot in circle

“The best doctor-patient relationship is a partnership. We bring medical knowledge and expertise, but you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to taking ownership of your care. I always appreciate when patients speak up and ask questions—it’s the starting point to a productive dialogue.”

- Roxana Cham, MD

It's OK to ask!

Our doctors are your partners—try these thought-starters for a more productive discussion.

  • Do I really need an antibiotic for this? Are there other options?
  • What are the risks or side effects of this antibiotic?
  • How long do I need to be on it?
  • If my symptoms don’t improve, would an antibiotic be considered down the road?
  • I was given an antibiotic for this condition in the past—why not now?

Did You Know?

2.8 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or fungi in the U.S. annually.

These infections are fatal for more than 35,000 people.3

Antibiotic side effects can be serious. Colitis, for example, an infection of the colon that occurs with antibiotic usage, affects more than 234,000 people and results in 12,800 deaths annually.4

How does the doctor know?

There are differences between a bacterial infection and a virus. This infographic shows what our physicians look for to ensure you get the most effective, timely treatment.

Experiencing symptoms? Our physicians will guide you to the right treatment—and help you understand if antibiotics are the right choice.

Start a visit now  ›

A Source You Can Trust

We’re serious about our commitment to providing you with the most up-to-date, credible information so you can feel empowered in your decision-making—and social sharing.

This resource was put together with guidance from 98point6 board-certified physicians, as well as:

1Chua Kao-Ping, Fischer Michael A, Linder Jeffrey A. Appropriateness of outpatient antibiotic prescribing among privately insured US patients: ICD-10-CM based cross sectional study BMJ 2019; 364:k5092
298point6 Research Outcomes and Clinical Quality Team, 6/1/2020 to 11/8/2020
3https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest-threats.html
4https://www.cdc.gov/cdiff/index.html