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Use of IMRT for Financial Incentive Purposes

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1552
Joined: Nov 2010

I am myself an IMRT beneficiary and have been recommending the treatment to friends because of its good results and minor side effects. This article in the Wall Street Journal is shock-ing in regards of its use in USA for the benefit of someone’s pocket, independently of patient need. Is that true? Here in Europe it may be difficult such practice but the future is unpredictable. It says; “…Roughly one in three Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with prostate cancer today gets a sophisticated form of radiation therapy called IMRT. Eight years ago, virtually no patients received the treatment. The story behind the sharp rise in the use of IMRT—which stands for intensity-modulated radiation therapy—is about more than just the rapid adoption of a new medical technology. It's also about financial incentives.”
The full article can be seen here;
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703904804575631222900534954.html.html

Hope that does not influence the patient group.
VGama

tarhoosier
Posts: 182
Joined: Aug 2006

Medical treatment decisions are the most asymmetrical possible. One person, the medical professional, holds all of the information and has access to all of the treatment modalities. The person who must decide, the patient, has little to none of this information or access and therefor is the most abject victim of this information inequality. This was also true in the past in the case of stock brokers, real estate agents, travel agents, college counselors and others who were "gate keepers" in their respective processes. The internet has allowed this asymmetricality to be replaced with a more balanced information access, with the result that several of these professions have been reduced or nearly eliminated.
Medical treatment decisions remain a lasting reminder of this former time when we were hostage to those who could control our decisions, often to their greater advantage, without our ability to negotiate, usually without knowledge of their actions.
This article reveals only the most obvious of these actions. They are pervasive in any field where information is asymmetrical.

Robert1941
Posts: 27
Joined: Oct 2010

to me, the big question is does it work?

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