Andrew Pollack of The New York Times wrote an interesting article for the Business Section of the paper, shedding light on how the cost of treatment may influence doctors. Quotes from Dr. Lowell Schnipper from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are featured, as are those from leaders at the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Their statements refer to the role(s) of the professionals in their respective societies to be concerned about the cost of treatments for their patients, but don’t seem to agree on the best way to calculate the cost of care and the value of that care in their treatment decision-making discussions with their patients.
“Traditionally, guidelines have heavily influenced the practice of medicine, and the latest ones are expected to make doctors more conscious of the economic consequences of their decisions — even though there is no obligation to follow them. Medical society guidelines are also used by insurance companies to help determine reimbursement policies.”