Thoughtful piece by David Leonhardt of the New York Times, “In Medicine, The Power of No.” Excerpts:
“Can we solve the entire problem of rising health costs by getting rid of needless care? Probably not. But the money involved is not trivial, and it’s the obvious place to start.
Learning to say no more often will be a three-step process, and if the new agencies created by the health act are run well, they can help with all three.
The first is learning more about when treatments work and when they don’t.
The second step — and maybe the most underappreciated one — is to give patients the available facts about treatments. Amazingly, this often does not happen.
The final step is the bluntest. It involves changing the economics of medicine, to reward better care rather than simply more care.”
Disclosure: Dr. Michael Barry, who is quoted in this article, is president of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, which funds the HealthNewsReview.org project.