I posted this to the National Journal Healthcare blog this afternoon:
Today’s New York Times article ”In Health Reform, a Cancer Offers an Acid Test” is the type of analysis and discussion that makes me shudder when I think of how easy it is to misuse the findings from proposed comparative effectiveness research when the focus is just cost. The Times has a chart comparing the average cost of the five types of treatment for prostate cancer. What is lacking is how each procedure impacts the life of the person receiving the treatment.
I propose that all those considering health care reform remember to take the perspective of the patient and health consumer. For each procedure what needs to be included as part of any cost or effective analysis there is also a new measure that takes into account consumer’s assessment of PAID (pain, absence from work, invasiveness of procedure, and disability.) for each procedure under consideration. Patients need more information but it is more than just cost of the procedure.