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The Cost Conundrum
Posted by: mmc 12:08pm, Friday, 5 June 2009
What a Texas town can teach us about health care.
Local executives for hospitals and clinics and home-health agencies understand their growth rate and their market share; they know whether they are losing money or making money. They know that if their doctors bring in enough business—surgery, imaging, home-nursing referrals—they make money; and if they get the doctors to bring in more, they make more. But they have only the vaguest notion of whether the doctors are making their communities as healthy as they can, or whether they are more or less efficient than their counterparts elsewhere. A doctor sees a patient in clinic, and has her check into a McAllen hospital for a CT scan, an ultrasound, three rounds of blood tests, another ultrasound, and then surgery to have her gallbladder removed. How [do they know] whether all that is essential, let alone the best possible treatment for the patient? It isn’t what they are responsible or accountable for.
mmc says: Disturbing and insightful view into the perverse incentives that shape our health care system.

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great article
Posted by: manu_s 10:24am, Friday, 12 June 2009

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