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[IP] Interesting article relates to common RANT on IP

This recent article from the Associated Press by Lauran Neegaard
appeared in the San Jose Mercury March 2, 2001. Itstrikes a chord with
our nearest and dearest RANTS about the medical care system.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. sicentests have developed effective treatments for
many diseases, but too many Americans get inadequate or outdated
therapy instead because the health care system is a tangled maze, the
Institute of Medicine said in a report Thursday.

It recommends an urgent overhaul to bring 21st century care to more
patients, and urges Congress to set aside $1 billion over the next
three to five years to spur programs that help.

The key to improvment is getting more doctors to follow scientific
eevidence an making physicians respond more quickly to patients'

Today, too many patients go from doctor to doctor in search of one
whol will not make them wait months for a basic exam, and whol
understands and uses cutting edge therapy, the report said.


"The frustration levels of both patients and clinicians have probably
never been higher", the reprot said. "Health care today harms too
frequently and routinely fails to deliver its potential benefits."

Among the findings: It can take 17 years for important medical
discoveries to become accepted and used by the average doctor.

For example, heart medicines called beta blockers were proven more
than 10 years ago to increase significantly a person's chances of
survival afte a heart attack. But nearly half of heart- attack victims
still do not reeive them, said Dr Lucian Leape of Harvard University,
a co-author of the report.


People with complicated chronic illnesses bounced from specialist to
specialist who do not coordinate their care.

The health-payment system can discourage doctors from doing the right
thing, the report said. It cited physicians who give high-quality care
that controls diabetes' blood sugar, only to see their incomes plummet
as those patients' need for more expensive care declines -- and the
insurers pocket the savings.

The report recommends an overhaul toward patient-focused care, giving
Americans more information about their health and using technology
..... to better expidite care.

Also, it urges the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality
to establish care standards for the nation's 15 most problematic
diseases by 2006.


The last paragraph is of interest. WE want to shape the standards for
diabetes care.

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