Sticking to the evidence. Easier said than done:
The question is never ‘Doctor, how little can you do to treat my illness effectively?’ And the answer is never, ‘Let’s wait a while.’ Instead, it’s a quick rush to the imaging room, to the surgical suite, or to the pharmacy downstairs. The costs are clear to us all: a $1.7 trillion annual health-care tab that is growing again, and as fast as ever. Today, millions of Americans are getting more and more care whose value is not clear, because it’s not based on scientific evidence. With costs steadily rising, we need to ask: When it comes to health care, is more always better?
Of course, the solution is so simple:
That means following objective, evidence-based treatment guidelines. Such guidelines do not exist for every condition, but wherever they do, it is imperative that they be followed to the letter. And sometimes that means not doing. Or doing less rather than more. Medical restraint, however, is a bitter pill — doctors don’t go to medical school to learn what not to do, and to a sick patient, “might as well give it a try” is practically a mantra.
Bad outcomes still occur despite following evidence-based guidelines. Doctors are still sued despite following the guidelines. Yes, doctors win the majority of cases that are brought to court, but it is the mere threat of the lawsuit that leads to defensive medicine and overtesting. Whether that’s right or not, it’s reality.
Ms. O’Kane and the NCQA are laughably naive. Try again folks.