The traditional way to reform medical malpractice law has been to impose caps on liability — for example, by limiting punitive damages to something like $500,000. A far better strategy would be to provide safe harbor for doctors who follow evidence-based guidelines. Anyone who could demonstrate that he has followed the recommended course for treating a specific illness or condition could not be held liable.
From Malpractice Methodology – NYTimes.com
Three-dimensional radiation costs roughly $10,000. A somewhat newer treatment, I.M.R.T., initially cost $42,000. And an even more recent treatment, proton radiation therapy, costs $50,000. The newer treatments do not seem to be more effective at keeping patients alive than three-dimensional radiation, so under the proposal all three treatments would be reimbursed (after the three-year trial period for the new ones) at $10,000.
Despite some of its downsides, this is a good idea — and precisely the type of shift in our reimbursement system than needs to happen if we are to reduce cost growth over time.
From Reforming Medicare’s Payment System – NYTimes.com
Orszag’s plan makes sense but the health care industry is going to fight anything that will reduce the use of expensive therapy and medications.