The growth of robotic procedures has exploded in recent years, but does the new technology really outperform the old? Proponents of the da Vinci system, for instance, promise better outcomes but, so far, only prostatectomy seems to measure up to the hype. Insurers want more medical data.
With emphasis on the pitfalls, because there can be sticky complications. Organizations that want to implement this cost-cutting strategy need to do three things: Include a broad array of services, achieve better savings by accessing the case discount market, and protect patients from balance billing.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network favors PSA testing for early detection. Awkward, because that contradicts the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Despite legitimate concerns about overtesting, the smart money is on the NCCN because prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men.
It makes good sense both medically and financially, he argues. For one thing, most of the insurer’s Medicare Advantage members stay with the company for more than seven years. In addition, “Employers want the health of their employees to be as good as it can be for as long as it can be.”
One says that adult tonsillectomy is relatively safe; the other says, not so much. Both are peer reviewed and both published in prestigious journals. The authors engage in a gentlemanly discussion, but there are real care and financial issues at stake. Conclusion? More research is needed. (But you could have guessed that, right?)
Frank L. Urbano, MD
A Physician Takes Umbrage at Al Lewis’s ‘Treatment Trap’
Hugh Sims, MD
Another Doctor Responds to Al Lewis’s ‘Treatment Trap’
Estimates for Sovaldi place it in an expensive neighborhood for medications, but the virus it fights moves slowly
There’s still no “magic pill,” but new medications abound. With the disease uncontrolled in millions, it’s time to get utilization management just right.
Kaiser Permanente patients who feel that they are part of the care decision process are more likely to stay on antidepressants
Otezla (apremilast) sparks hope about treatment, but also concern about depression and suicidal thoughts