What is it going to take to cut the cost of health care while increasing the quality of care? I believe that the answer is conceptually quite simple. By providing better information we can help people make better decisions which result in better health care.
That seems like a bold statement. Don’t people get good information now? Aren’t people making good decisions about their health already?
Let’s look at the facts, which are based on a number of studies by UnitedHealthcare and others. As it turns out, for many conditions there is a great variance in how different physicians treat their patients. Evidence-based medicine uses real-world experience to determine which treatment works best for a patient or a group of patients with similar medical situations.
But according to studies:
• 45% of all physicians make decisions that are not based on evidence-based medicine,
• 43% of employees, families make less than optimal decisions related to doctors, treatments, prescription drugs and other aspects of health care.
You want to really improve quality? Reduce costs? Then improve decision making – based on the proven data sets.
I sincerely believe that if health insurance companies and medical caregivers work together, we can identify from real-world experience the best practices for a wide variety of medical conditions. And with this information will come better decision-making.