Times are tight and we’re all looking to save money, be it our own or someone else’s. Many will say that when it comes to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, doctors are responsible for part of the problem.
Doctors order too many tests, either to cover ourselves in the event of a malpractice suit, or because patients pressure us, or because we genuinely believe that the tests are necessary for patient care, but in many circumstances, a cheaper option is available. We order medications that are expensive when cheaper medications are available. And psychiatrists offer care — like psychotherapy — that could be done by clinicians who are cheaper to educate and willing to work for less money. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*
The worst-kept secret in journalism circles recently was that the New York Times was planning an article critical of the Dartmouth Atlas. Among the main points in the article:
• “The mistaken belief that the Dartmouth research proves that cheaper care is better care is widespread.”
• “The atlas’s hospital rankings do not take into account care that prolongs or improves lives.”
• “Even Dartmouth’s claims about which hospitals and regions are cheapest may be suspect.”
• “Failing to make basic data adjustments undermines the geographic variations the atlas purports to show.”
The Times has also published the correspondence it had with the Dartmouth team about methodology questions.
The Dartmouth team challenges each of these criticisms. The team says the Times made at least five factual errors and several misrepresentations. They write:
“What is truly unfortunate is that the Times missed an opportunity to help educate the American public about what our research actually shows — or about the breadth of agreement about what our findings mean for health care reform.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*