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

physiciansin consultation with patientshave a responsibility to use health care resources wisely, based on evidence of safety and effectiveness, the particular needs and circumstances of the patient, and with consideration of cost.

  • At the societal level, allocation decisions should be informed by evidence on the value of different interventions, be in accord with societal values, reflect moral, ethical, cultural, and professional standards, and be developed with broad public input.

    "To be clear, ACP is not proposing that care be rationed," emphasized Dr. Ralston. "Rationing is a term that is poorly understood, emotionally-driven, and not conducive to reaching consensus. It conjures up images of shortages, delays in obtaining treatment, long waiting lines, and government bureaucrats coming between patients and their physicians."

    Dr. Ralston noted that there is a difference between medical rationing in which decisions are made about the allocation of scarce medical resources and who receives them, and rational medical decision-making in which judicious choices are made among clinically effective alternatives,

    ACP's paper proposes specific principles for achieving such a consensus on conserving and distributing health care at both the patient encounter and societal levels in a way that is politically acceptable given American views of personal freedom and responsibility.

    "We believe that engaging the public in such a consensus can help eliminate much of the $700 billion of health care spending per year, 5 percent of the nation's GDP, which studies suggest are wasted on tests and procedures that do not improve health outcomes," Dr. Ralston concluded. "We also believe that eliminating wasteful spending may be the only way that the United States can avoid the explicit medical rationing that exists in other countries."

    "We know it won't be easy. We know we don't have all of the answers on how to init
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  • Contact: David Kinsman
    dkinsman@acponline.org
    202-261-4554
    American College of Physicians
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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