Psst, President Obama...We Need this Man for HHS
On the Huffington Post, Dr. Dean explained why medical research funds were necessary for the stimulus, in particular, about comparative health care:
Comparative Effectiveness Research:
At issue is something called "Comparative Effectiveness Research" which basically means giving your doctor access to the latest research on what treatments and therapies work and which don't. This also helps doctors know which treatments are more expensive than others, and helps both patients and doctors decide if there is a cheaper treatment that is just as effective. As a doctor and the husband of a doctor, I know how important it is to have solid scientific research to make critical decisions for my patients.
This research will help doctors choose the best treatment for their patients' situation and help them make more informed choices rather than risk prescribing less effective or even potentially harmful treatments.
Essentially, in order to control costs and provide patients with better care as we reform health care, the Federal Government will fund and disseminate research that evaluates the effectiveness of different treatments and medicines. This research will give doctors and patients better choices, and most importantly better health care for their money.
This is a common sense idea that should have been put in place a long ago.
I agree with Dr. Dean on this one. I've been battling a sinus infection for over a week, and while I have read that antibiotics are not as useful in getting rid of a sinus infection, they have always worked for me. Now my health care provider tells me that they have a policy not to use antibiotics for sinus infections. If I had known that, I wouldn't have bothered to go in and get looked at in hopes of a prescription when I had already tried other remedies and know what to do about colds and sinus problems in general. There is nothing on the website about the policy, and I would prefer if comparative research was done and put on websites of our health care providers for different illnesses to explain their policies if the research points to it. A handout for $15 doesn't cut it for me in the age of the Internet.
The most important point Dr. Dean makes is this one, medicine is science driven and not ideology driven. Rush and his ilk, who aren't doctors, don't get it.
So to President Obama, this man is clearly in your camp. Hire him as your HHS Secretary. If you believe in a team of rivals, he fits into your cabinet, and your chief of staff needs to embrace Dr. Dean's ideas.
(photo courtesy of nmfbihop, taken at Netroots Nation)