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Money & Medicine

PBS Special Money & Medicine Explores the Dangers of Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment

This evening, PBS will air a special investigative report on the dangers of our current medical system. Money & Medicine takes us inside two world-renowned hospitals -- UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Intermountain Medical Center in Utah -- and shares first-hand stories of unnecessary medical spending, as well as effective methods for improving the overall quality of care and reducing costs. Money & Medicine captures the variations of care from birth to death and paints a powerful picture of our country’s medical crisis. The film also depicts effective strategies currently practiced at UCLA and Intermountain that reduce wasteful medical spending and improve health care quality. These strategies include improving coordination of care, implementing shared decision making and practicing evidence-based medicine. Continue reading
Posted in Current News | Tagged evidence-based medicine, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, shared decision making | Permalink
Mary McNaughton-Collins, MD, MPH

New "Foundation Perspectives" Video: NEJM Study on Screening Mammography and Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis

The recent New England Journal of Medicine paper titled “Effect of Three Decades of Screening Mammography on Breast-Cancer Incidence” look at thirty-two years of cancer statistics in the U.S. and comes to the startling conclusion that roughly 1.3 million women have been overdiagnosed with breast cancer. In our newest “Foundation Perspectives” video, Dr. Mary McNaughton-Collins, medical director at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and a primary care doctor, gives us her take on the importance of this study. She provides a brief overview of the authors’ findings, explains why the overdiagnosis of breast cancer is harmful and provides her view on how these findings will affect how she engages women in a shared decision making conversation about screening mammograms. Continue reading
Posted in Current News | Tagged breast cancer, mammography, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, shared decision making | Permalink
Shannon Brownlee, MS

Shared Decision Making Month Contributor Spotlight: Shannon Brownlee

Shannon is acting director of the New America Health Policy Program. A nationally known writer and essayist whose work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Slate, Time, Washington Monthly, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the BMJ, among many other publications. She is best known for her groundbreaking work on avoidable health care, the patchy quality of medical evidence, and the implications for health care policy. Continue reading
Posted in SDM Month | Tagged overtreatment, shared decision making, Shared Decision Making Month | Permalink

Are We Expecting Too Much From Shared Decision Making?

Steven Katz and Sarah Hawley of the University of Michigan authored a Viewpoint in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association asking if we are “expecting too much” by suggesting that shared decision making (SDM) has the potential to reduce overtreatment and lower health care costs. They believe the promotion of SDM may be distracting from more effective physician- and institutional-level interventions aimed at addressing costs. While we whole-heartedly endorse solutions that focus attention on all parts of the health care system, we believe strongly that SDM should continue to be a key element of efforts to tackle the challenges of overtreatment and rising health care costs. Continue reading
Posted in Current News | Tagged breast cancer, overtreatment, patient engagement, patient-centered care, prostate cancer, shared decision making | Permalink
Michael J. Barry, MD

The President’s Corner: July/August 2015

In a 2012 report for The King’s Fund, Foundation cofounder Al Mulley and colleagues described the problem of misdiagnosis of patients’ preferences. “Preference misdiagnosis” may be the most common form of medical error in health care. It can occur when a person has more than one medically reasonable course of action open to him or her. A clinician, sometimes supported by recommendations from clinical practice guidelines, may prescribe or withhold a treatment based on what the evidence best supports and what he or she thinks the patient would want. However, research shows that among fully informed patients who understand a certain treatment’s possible benefits and risks, some would want that prescribed treatment, and some would not want that treatment prescribed. While there is evidence that preference misdiagnosis occurs, its epidemiology and solutions have not been well described. Continue reading
Posted in President's Corner | Tagged overtreatment, patient preferences | Permalink