Saturday, October 31, 2009

'Expert Panels' Won't Improve Health Care

Gleicher's Editorial in WSJ,
At a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire this summer, President Barack Obama explained why government "expert panels" are an essential part to overhauling the health-care system. Right now the United States spends $6,000 more per person each year than other advanced nations and isn't healthier for it. He said these panels would reduce wasteful spending by providing "guidelines" for doctors on which procedures to perform.

His panels are now part of legislation moving in Congress. But the idea of inserting a government panel between patients and physicians remains contentious and with good reason. Inevitably, the panels' guidelines will come to be seen as the industry's "best practices" and would therefore be adopted as a blueprint for which procedures health insurance should cover.

The idea of creating expert panels has a certain logic to it. After all, who is better qualified to determine best medical practices than medical experts? The medical field itself has been edging toward a similar approach in recent years with "evidence based medicine," an approach that assumes it is possible to determine what works and what doesn't by reviewing published medical literature.
Read the whole thing... panels disturb me most about reform; as I view them from my twenty years inside the Med/Gov/University/Industrial behemoth writing alerts and tick-boxes for the panelists.

All nice fellows if you're reading...but

......Give me empowered and educated consumers anytime.

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