I promised in an earlier blog to list 10 things in the Senate version of the healthcare reform bill that you might not be aware of. Since it’s New Year’s Eve, technically a holiday, I’m only working at partial speed so you only get a partial list today. More to come over the next few days.
1. Support comparative effectiveness research by establishing a non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to identify research priorities and conduct research that compares the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments.
In English: The government will fund research to directly compare treatment A to treatment B to determine which works best and is most cost effective.
Major weakness: the Senate bill specifically notes that the results of such research “may not be construed” as mandates, guidelines, or recommendations for payment, coverage, or treatment or used to deny coverage.
Huh? What is the point of finding out that treatment A works better than treatment B if you don’t use it to make coverage decisions???
Prediction: Most insurers will use this information to make coverage decisions, much to the chagrin of many pharmaceutical and medical device companies. In the not-too-distant-future, Medicare will join the party. After all, … Continue Reading