Comparing Medical Treatments, Procedures Could Help Slow Health Spending

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<p>Creating a center to compare the effectiveness of drug treatments and medical procedures could help health plans, hospitals, and public health programs "spend smarter" on health care, providing patients with more appropriate care while also helping to stem the rising tide of health care costs, according to a new Commonwealth Fund-supported study published by <em>Health Affairs.</em><br><br>In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=25221&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D422016%26%23doc422016">Web Exclusive article</a> published November 7, Gail Wilensky, John M. Olin Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, says that by using comparative effectiveness information, both payers and providers of health care can make more informed coverage, payment, and patient-care decisions--which ultimately could lead to improved outcomes and better-controlled costs.<br><br>Wilensky points out that this approach is used in Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and explores options for placement and financing of a comparative effectiveness center in the United States. Housing the center within a quasi-governmental entity, she concludes, would allow for private sector involvement while providing a direct link to the federal government.</p>