Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The prostate cancer test

An interesting article in today's New York Times that clearly identifies an issue that would not be addressed by simply increasing insurance rates. The article says that treatment options for prostate cancer vary by a factor of 20 or more, and it is not clear which is better. Assessing both the costs and benefits of competing treatment options is cost effectiveness analysis. There are tricky issues in doing CEA analysis correctly. However, if you say you are opposed to using cost effectiveness analysis in making health care decisions, you are saying you don't want to know which treatment is best, and whether the more expensive options 'are worth it'.

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