Welcome to the age of MoneyBall Medicine
For several years, the US has grappled with the rising costs of healthcare, while seeing our global rankings, in outcomes like life expectancy and maternal deaths, fall to among the lowest of developed countries. Americans are paying more for healthcare without reaping the benefits. Routinely, newspapers and TV channels report on the newest cancer treatments or technological advances, but there is little discussion about the value of these new drugs or devices or the wide variation in their adoption across providers. For all the data collected on patients and in the industry, little in American healthcare is standardized or optimized, and the value of existing treatments is rarely investigated. And unlike most of our European counterparts, a significant number of Americans are without health insurance, often left on their own to shop for the best quality healthcare at a reasonable cost, but unable to do it. When pricing information can be obtained, there is typically no explanation for the variation seen from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital.
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