So there are three treatments for prostate cancer. Medicare pays physicians a whole lot more for one (new snazzy non-invasive one that patients prefer too) than the other two. So they rush off to get the necessary equipment and staff-up to perform the new procedure. Then they start doing that rather more than they others. And the NY Times is surprised!
Wow. Just wait till they hear about chemotherapy, and how much of that treatment “choice” is based on incentives to physicians. (Cue Greg to tell us!)
Just another reminder why non-globally budgeted FFS in a system with no mandated technology cost-effectiveness assessment does not work. And that’s roughly what Medicare provides. Instead we should be trying to figure out what is the best patient long-term outcome is for a pre-determined amount of spending.