The case of the non-existent link between certain fats in the diet and heart disease reminds us again how poorly designed and executed much research is, and how dangerous dissemination of the results of such research can be.
In this holiday season, it is a time for giving presents and our latest Potpourri presents you with many gifts of health information, including some positive news about an ACO program, some cautions for the success of ACOs, an apparently successful disease management program, lung cancer screening, earnings growth for physicians and other health professionals and lessons in bundled payments.
The Physician Group Practice Demonstration conducted by Medicare has largely wrapped up , to be supplanted by the accountable care organization programs. The PGP demo appears to have led to slightly improved quality and has led to slightly lower cost savings over traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
This week’s Potpourri contains tasty morsels of health care nutrition, including geographic variation in cardiac procedures, barriers to shared decision-making, issues in the credibility of survey-based research, the value of a diabetes disease management program, and differences in hospital costs.
A final summary of Medicare’s disease management pilots gives a bleak picture of the value of the efforts. While there are design and methodological critiques of the Medicare program that may make the results not generalizable, the outcomes do suggest that if disease management is to show value, design and execution need to be improved.