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New principles from ACP to determine consensus on conserving and allocating health resources
Date:1/27/2011

(Washington) In a groundbreaking policy paper released today, the American College of Physicians (ACP) offered more than a dozen principles for engaging the public in a process that it hopes will lead to consensus on conserving and allocating resources based on the best evidence of clinical effectiveness and value. How Can Our Nation Conserve and Distribute Health Care Resources Effectively and Efficiently?, is, to ACP's knowledge, the first time that a major physician membership society has made such a call for a national discussion and proposed a framework on how to make such decisions.

"Every country makes decisions on how to allocate available health care resources, but their approaches vary widely, reflecting the different political and cultural conditions in each country," J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, FACP, president of ACP, said at an afternoon news conference. "The United States limits access to services based on access to affordable health insurance coverage and insurance company decisions on covered benefits and cost-sharing. Socio-economic and racial and ethnic characteristics of the population being served, the availability of physicians and health care facilities, and other factors clearly impact the access to care in the US."

Yet, the U.S. has largely failed to address the reality that health care spending is increasing at a rate the country can't afford, ACP's president said. "This is a societal issue that transcends medical care itselfhow much should we as a society spend using public funds on health care versus education, the environment, or the defense of our country?

"Democratically elected countries have a responsibility to develop ways to determine the allocation of public resources that have broad public support; such decisions in the U.S. cannot and must not be "imposed" on the population without the consent of the people."

This means that:

  • At the patient encounter level,
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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