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Americans must consider cost and effectiveness when comparing and choosing medical interventions
Date:5/15/2008

Washington, May 15, 2008 The American College of Physicians (ACP) proposed today a means to improve physician and patient access to and use of information about clinical and cost-effectiveness when comparing medical products, procedures and services.

The recommendations are featured in an article, Cost-Effectiveness Information: An Essential Feature of a National Comparative Effectiveness Entity, published online today in Annals of Internal Medicine, ACPs flagship peer reviewed journal (www.annals.org). The Annals article is based on a broader comparative-effectiveness policy paper also released today online at www.acponline.org/advocacy. The article addresses how costs and clinical outcomes are interrelated, and has a major impact on physician practice and patient care in the U.S.

The article looks at how U.S. attitudes about cost-effectiveness has failed to produce an adequate supply of reliable information about what health care works best for a patient in specific clinical situations and with a limited budget. ACP recommended that the U.S. establish a trusted, independent, adequately-funded national research organization to fill the gap.

The proposed new entity would develop and disseminate evidence based on comparative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in health care. Further, it would educate the public about the urgency of modifying what it has found to be an American cultural bias toward downplaying the cost of health care--especially when payment seemingly comes from a health insurer or other third party payer rather than from patients own pockets.

The new ACP study encourages doctors and patients to use comparative-effectiveness information as a route to containing health care costs, noted David M. Dale, MD, FACP and president of ACP. We very much support the creation of this new entity. And emphasize the importance of this proposed entity to produce both comparative clinical and cost-effective i
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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