A cornerstone of the healthcare overhaul and a vital tool outlining the value of physical therapist practice is under attack.
Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) will cost the United States $4 trillion in economic activity, according to a new report from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI).
The report argues that investment in new drugs and medical devices would suffer:
"Investments in medical research provide among the most productive uses of capital in the economy.Investments in one of the most lucrative medical devices, pedicle rods and screws, made by publicly-traded firms like Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker are a major cost driver in healthcare cost inflation.
Americans will suffer economically and physically if the government forces CER on the U.S. healthcare system", said Robert Goldberg, vice president of CMPI and a study author.
These firms have driven the rate of dangerous, complex spinal fusion surgery up 20 times since 2002. These patients have three times the risk of dangerous complications and twice the risk of a rehospitalization.
Oh, and by the way, the new surgeries sponsored by the medical device "investors" cost at least $80,888, compared to $23,724 for regular back surgery.
Physical therapists treatments for similar conditions don't carry these hefty price tags and dangerous risk profiles.
A survey of 111 major stakeholders in drug and device manufacturers believe that, in the long run, CER will improve healthcare outcomes and "expressed tempered optimism" about its implementation by the government.