Sunday, October 11, 2009

Protons, Prostate Cancer, and Bad Incentives in Health Care

Here, and here. If you have 3 options of equal impact, one that is free, one that is $50,000, and one that is $100,000, why is it that our current system picks the third one? Answer: it's hard to convince most people that more health care is not equivalent to better health care. Most people think "proton radiation therapy" sounds like it will do more good than "wait and watch." It doesn't.
I'm still puzzled by the blind faith we put in doctors when it comes to their motives in recommending treatment. Doctors, like mechanics, have an incentive to "run up the bill" even to the point of making s--- up or recommending treatments (repairs) that may or may not be necessary. We should WANT a bureaucrat that knows something about the effectiveness of treatments between us and our doctors, whether it's a government bureaucrat or a private sector one! Problem now is that the private sector bureaucrat has perverse incentives, too. A little regulation in these cases (or a public provider) could go a long way.

No comments:

Post a Comment