The Antidote

Counterspin for Health Care and Health News

Friday, May 25, 2007

Clinton gets it

In today's New York Times: Finally, a democratic presidential candidate who's not just touting universal health care as the be-all and end-all, but recognizes that such approaches as broader preventive care and Medicare drug payment negotiation are part and parcel of lowering health care costs. I trust there's more detail forthcoming; she has been leading in this area in Congress from the beginning.


At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Catron said...

Sorry, but Hillary's "plan" is a combination of shopworn ideas and proposals to encumber American health care with more heavy-handed regulation.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

The only people who benefit from a lack of regulation of health care are those who are raking in profits, from overuse, Medicare fraud, and a failure to insure everybody.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous jnicholas said...

I think the Best Practices Institute is a really interesting idea. Someone (i.e. the government) who is interested in population level outcomes and cost containment needs to weigh in on current medical pracice.

Physicians, pharma, hospitals are not interested in cost-containment. Insurers are not interested in population level outcomes (only that of their healthy subscribers)

No professional medical society that I am aware of has ever issued a "cost-effective" guideline towards any major chronic disease- and it results in physicians providing more expensive, typically very, very marginal care.

We don't live longer or better than any other developed country, but we utilize way more medicines, procedures and tests, and spend a boatload of tax dollars-

There is tremendous variation in medical care throughout our own country- without any really measurable changes in outcomes- see the Dartmouth Atlas

There is little doubt that our standard of care could be much, much less expensive and aggressive than physicians currently recommend- without any reduction in clinically meaningful population level outcomes

Someone needs to regulate something-

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

jnicholas, I agree. There's currently a disconnect between the knowledge aggregated by AHRQ, and the payment decisions allowed by CMS, I think because of political pressure by powerful medical and other industry forces. A "Best Practices Institute" that has some legal authority (like the British NICE organization) would be great.


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