Tag: Prometheus

Op-Ed: It’s the Waste, Stupid.

-5 A recent Wall Street Journal editorial strongly challenged the notion that there is enormous waste in American health care.  In the article the editors acknowledge that dramatic variation in health care spending exists across the country–but point out that the precise reason for that variation remains uncertain.  They also note that much of the data about regional variation comes from the Dartmouth Atlas–and that work, they point out, is limited in that it only examines Medicare data.  And they cite work from Richard Cooper at the Wharton School that directly challenges some of the Dartmouth Atlas conclusions–essentially arguing that the Dartmouth observed regional variation is actually simply an artifact of Medicare.   They conclude that “Dr. Cooper’s assault on the Dartmouth Atlas is controversial but compelling. He argues that the less-is-more theory is based on the flawed premise that when a region’s outcomes did not improve as spending increased, the difference is simply classified as ‘waste’ – even if it isn’t.”

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