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An NIH study of treatments for high blood pressure, called the ALLHAT trial, shows some of the strengths and limitations of comparative effectiveness research to improve patient care. More...
For journalists and other media professionals
As the health reform debate continues to the Senate, it’s important to keep the focus on the patient. This is one of the points highlighted in Politico’s health care issue last week.
One article whose headline reflects well the work PIPC has been undertaking is a piece by Dr. John Seffrin, “Reform should focus on patients.” Dr. Seffrin is the CEO of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (CAN). PIPC has said that, from the start, health reform must put the patient first, and that policies like comparative effectiveness research must support, not impede, the patient-provider relationship.
Echoing PIPC’s patient-first position on health reform, Dr. Seffrin writes, “Health care reform must emphasize patient-centered care. No patients want a new system that allows the government to interfere with their health care any more than they want to keep the current rules that enable insurance companies to deny coverage for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Patients should have an informed choice of plans and doctors.”
It’s true; the government must not be allowed to interfere with a patient’s choice of care, or which doctor he wants to see. No where is this more important that in the decision between the patient and their doctors about which tests are treatments are best for the individual. Health care reform should be patient-centered and steadfast in its support of an empowered patient-provider relationship; this is the right way to improve health care quality and, ultimately, help control costs.
The Senate Finance Committee’s approach to CER gets this right. It focuses the research on the information needs of patients and doctors, and it includes protections to ensure that results help them make good decisions, and are not used to dictate care decisions to them.
PIPC continues to work for reform that respects the rights of patients and providers, because patients know best what care they want, and providers know best how to provide what’s needed.
With health care reform legislation now passed in the House, PIPC is focusing its work on CER advocates in the Senate - such as Sens. Baucus (D-Mont.) and Conrad (D-N.D.) - to ensure the Senate provides for reform that emphasizes sound research that will help both patients and their providers.