Au contraire…

A couple of observations from interweb reading this weekend…

We’ve heard/read/thought much about the impact of technology and preventive medicine on health care costs. That they will force them down. And they likely can (and will). But some contrarian thoughts exist…

First, a great thought posted at e-patients: “Technology is always framed as an end and it is not. It is a means. The “end” for most people is getting the information and care they need.” Good stuff.

Second, from the New England Journal of Medicine about preventive medicine (hat tip: Health Populi):

Some preventive measures save money, while others do not, although they may still be worthwhile because they confer substantial health benefits relative to their cost. In contrast, some preventive measures are expensive given the health benefits they confer. In general, whether a particular preventive measure represents good value or poor value depends on factors such as the population targeted, with measures targeting higher-risk populations typically being the most efficient. In the case of screening, efficiency also depends on frequency (more frequent screening confers greater benefits but is less efficient). Third, as is the case for preventive measures, treatments can be relatively efficient or inefficient.

Anyway, as you know if you listen to presidential stump speeches or just catch the highlights on CNN/MSNBC/FOX News/etc. when candidates speak of their health care reforms they tout the benefits of technology investments and preventive medicine. It’s always good to hear something from the other side, especially when thoughts are provided with evidence.

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