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The 5 Best And Worst Recent Health Policy Quotes

I’ve been attending a series of health policy conferences recently – and twittering them live. I’ve heard a lot of smart ideas and a lot of not-so-smart ideas. For your consideration, I offer you my best and worst recent health policy quotes:

The best quotes:

1. Evan Falchuk, Best Doctors: “Since the leading cause of misdiagnosis is a failure of synthesis – a failure by the doctor to put together available information in a way that leads them to the right conclusion – our system ought to be built around helping make sure this happens each and every time.”

2. Aneesh Chopra, Federal CTO“HIT should not be in a box unto itself – put in a corner, making a capital-sucking sound.”

3. Clay Shirky, New Media Guru: “The problem is that, since we all die eventually, everyone will be unhappy with their healthcare at some point. This creates a social dilemma that’s neither transitory nor small. First, there will always be snake oil salesmen peddling ‘eternal life,’ and second, there will always be an unhappy faction who rail against the medical establishment.”

4. Joshua Ofman, Amgen, on comparative clinical effectiveness research: “We don’t want 2 different evidence standards. One to gain market access and a second to lose market access… There is a role for observational data to gain insights. There is a great allure of large, readily accessible databases that are fast – but the power and speed cannot overcome bias and confounding.

5. Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO: “We need to bake security into the architecture that we purchase from the private sector. The sprinkler system is part of any house you purchase – you don’t have to add it later.”

The Worst Quotes:

1. Senator Tom Harkin: “The NCCAM has failed to do their job of validating complementary and alternative medicine therapies.”

2. Senator Max Baucus: “Going to the doctor is like buying a car, except buying a car is a lot more fun.” Bonus quote: “If men liked shopping, they’d call it research.” [???]

3. Theresa Cullen, CIO, Indian Health Service : “At some point we’ll have to tell providers ‘you have to use EHR, we’ve drawn a line. If you don’t use it you’ll have to leave.'”

4. Sean Tunis, Center for Medical Technology Policy: “Randomized Clinical Trials can be designed with generous inclusion and exclusion criteria. Their limited inclusion criteria are not a permanent defect… We can’t wait 5 years for RCTs to be done. We have to find new methods that we can use (a “silver level of evidence” rather than the RCT “gold level”) to help inform our care decisions.”

5. Congressman Pete Stark: “I’m sick of rich doctors driving up in their Porsches saying ‘I’m pulling out of Medicare.’”

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