Outcomes Research, Cost Containment, and the Fear of Health Care Rationing
Wennberg, John E.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1990 Oct 25; 323(17): 1202-1204.
Outcomes research studies the treatment options for common diseases and conditions and attempts to identify what works in medicine and to develop practice guidelines. The U.S. Congress recently established the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) to promote outcomes research in an effort many hope will produce a more efficient health care economy. Wennberg reports on the experience of the assessment team funded by the AHCPR to study benign prostatic hypertrophy, and its conclusion about patient preferences and participation in treatment decisions. He anticipates that outcomes research may help control health care costs without rationing by reducing the number of treatments demanded by patients and by freeing funds for reallocation within health care. Wennberg cautions, however, that outcomes research alone cannot solve the problems of a medical market characterized by an increasing supply of technologies, treatment theories, and physicians. (KIE abstract)
Alternatives; Biomedical Technologies; Containment; Costs and Benefits; Economics; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Federal Government; Government; Guidelines; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Hospitals; Health Care Rationing; Medicine; Patient Care; Patient Participation; Patients; Physicians; Policy Analysis; Practice Guidelines; Public Policy; Research; Resource Allocation; Surgery; Technology; Technology Assessment; Values;
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