Health reform’s going to be hard. Just take a look at the latest anti-reform press release from the two large associations of neurosurgeons. Three main messages:
1. A public option health plan is a bad idea because it will “lead to single payer government-run health care.”
2. “Patient-centered healthcare is threatened by provisions related to comparative effectiveness research, changes to office-based imaging and curtailing the development of physician-owned specialty hospitals.”
3. Reform will just cost too much.
In fact, providing treatment where there is no evidence whatsoever that it works at all is one of the main reasons our health care system costs so much. Comparing effectiveness of treatments is the way to obtain that evidence so we don’t waste money and so we deliver better care – not just more care. In addition, we know overuse of imaging – CAT scans, MRIs and the like – is another major cost driver. The efficiency of “physician-owned speciality hospitals” I’ll leave to others.
Bottom line? To save money in reform – and we need to control costs more than the current Congressional proposals do – then there are going to be many parts of our health care system where major health care players are going to be seeing drops in income. Expect more protest as the health plans become more clear.