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The New Health Dialogue

A Blog from New America's Health Policy Program

News roundup!

Published:  October 12, 2012
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Overtreatment has hit the popular press in a big way over the last couple of weeks. We haven't been able to highlight every article as it's come out, so here they are all in one place. Take some time this afternoon & catch up!

"The Cost of Assuming Doctors Know Best" - In The Atlantic, Shannon Brownlee & I outline the shared decision making program implemented at Group Health Cooperative in Washington State, and argue that it should be a strong signal to hospitals across the country to start their own SDM programs.

"Unnecessary care: are doctors in denial and is profit driven healthcare to blame?" - Jeanne Lenzer discusses the Avoiding Avoidable Care conference, previews our efforts to eliminate overtreatment, and poses the inevitable question: what has to change about payment structures for medicine to put the patient first?

"Is the USA’s problem ours too?" - Margaret McCartney assesses the risk of overtreatment in a truly government-run healthcare system, and finds that the UK faces many of the same challenges that the American healthcare system does, including rampant overuse & poor reaction to evidence.

"Patient power needs to be built on strong intellectual foundations" - Former NHS head Nigel Crisp argues that "the balance of power in health systems needs to be shifted so that people are enabled to live the life that they want rather than having to fit in with professional and commercial views."

Video: The harms of overtreatment - The video supplement to Jeanne Lenzer's article includes interviews with Shannon Brownlee, Dr. Vikas Saini of the Lown Institute, and the story of Michael Skolnik and the harms of overtreatment.

"The Epidemic of Excess Medical Treatment" - Dr. Marty Makary, Johns Hopkins surgeon and author of Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care, describes the numerous reversals of medical advice to come out in recent years and the massive scale of overtreatment in the US.

Dr. Marty Makary on the Diane Rehm Show - Dr. Makary is the sole guest for a full hour of excellent discussion on one of public radio's best interview programs.

"Psychiatrist Contends the Field Is ‘Committing Professional Suicide'" - Maia Szalavitz describes tje problems with the relationship between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry--a relationship that's getting so close and so corrupting that one psychiatrist says his fellows are “committing professional suicide.”

"How Hospitals Can Stop Killing So Many Patients" - On her Forbes column, Kare Anderson lays out some things that patients can do to avoid being harmed by the inefficiencies and patterns of overuse in American hospitals.

Health Wonk Review, October Surprise Edition - Finally, this week's Health Wonk Review has a whole slew of other posts worth reading. Check it out!

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