Thursday, October 9, 2014

Regulation and low-value care

Swimming against the Current — What Might Work to Reduce Low-Value Care?

While reading this NEJM article on strategies to reduce low value care, I was wondering why the author has not included any regulatory tool. He explains demand and supply side strategies, as usual, and forgets the crucial role of government. It says:
Public acceptance of a role for policy in reducing the use of low value care in the United States is tenuous but increasing with growing awareness of the burden that health care spending places on federal and state budgets and with patients’ increasing exposure to health care costs.
This is a fact or an opinion of the author?. It is not an argument to avoid a key instrument widely recognised by scholars. An appropriate regulatory role is crucial to provide information and signaling the value of health benefits. No regulation or bad quality regulation contributes to a perfectly designed and costly mess.

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