Saturday, November 18, 2006

Transparent Price and Quality in Health Care

A press release from the United States Chamber of Commerce announces that the lobbying organization has joined with other business groups pressing for greater transparency in health care pricing and quality.

Quality may actually be the larger issue. While most people tend to trust their doctor, research studies reveal wide varieties in health care provided for patients with comparable conditions. In many instances, practice patterns are regional. For example, one unpublished study recently presented at a conference attended by a friend of The Oracle showed that early surgery rates for workers' compensation patients experiencing non-specific low back pain were far higher in Tennessee than any of the other study states. While the study did not indicate which practice pattern constituted optimal care, variations were so significant that it is not likely that each state's set of patients were receiving care based on best practices.

That is the reason that the use of evidence based practice guidelines is a growing emphasis in the health care and insurance industries.

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