Monday, February 16, 2009

Creating a Health Care Effectiveness Clearinghouse

Some ideas are just no-brainers. The idea of an independent agency to study the comparative effectiveness of different treatments is one of them. It will improve health care by promoting more effective treatments, and it will lower costs by reducing the use of expensive but relatively ineffective treatments.

So it is great news that the stimulus bill "will, for the first time, provide substantial amounts of money for the federal government to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for the same illness," according to The New York Times.
Under the legislation, researchers will receive $1.1 billion to compare drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions. The bill creates a council of up to 15 federal employees to coordinate the research and to advise President Obama and Congress on how to spend the money.

The program responds to a growing concern that doctors have little or no solid evidence of the value of many treatments. Supporters of the research hope it will eventually save money by discouraging the use of costly, ineffective treatments.

It is a sign of the difficulties any health care reform will have that this program is opposed by pharmaceutical and medical-device lobbyists and (by extension) some Republicans.


Post a Comment

<< Home