Los Angeles Times Warns Against Medicare Cuts for Medical Devices
In an editorial, the
Los Angeles Times warns that a decision to reduce Medicare payments for new
medical devices "should be based on better information" than CMS officials have used, adding, "Curbing costs is good, but doing it with a bludgeon is not." The editorial points out that the debate over the issue has "drawn attention to a long-ignored flaw" in the U.S. public health system -- the "lack of any coherent system for assessing what works, what gives the biggest medical benefit for the buck." According to the editorial, "Making quality information public pushes hospitals and doctors to focus on effective treatments and reduce medical errors." The editorial points out that the proposed rule faces "political trouble," concluding, "If the government had better-quality information, it would be able to fend off critics and defend its cuts" (Los Angeles Times, 8/21).