It’s why you come to Pragmatos, after all, and we don’t disappoint. We’re relatively ignorant on the subject, but we do know who to ask, and in case you don’t, we’re glad to be of service. Go to Breast Cancer Action, who for a variety of reasons are the go-to folks on these questions.
USPSTF Releases New Screening Guidelines
Mammography screening is in the news again. The US Prevention Services Task Force has announced new guidelines for breast cancer screening that would mean women get fewer mammograms. This is good news.
Read BCA’s analysis of the new recommendations here. On the issue of prevention, click here for information on why words matter.
Bonus: the Washington Post makes a useful point relating this bit of news to health care generally.
The reversal of the seven-year-old guidelines, and the resulting uproar, demonstrate why reducing medical costs will be challenging even with a well-designed health-care reform bill. Ideally, medical practice should follow the evidence. When drugs or procedures are proven to do more harm than good, or to do no more good than safer or less costly alternatives, incentives should be used to discourage them. In practice, though, as new studies overtake old research and new advice contradicts previous guidelines, the result can be confusion and even cynicism — and political pressure to ignore the results.
Late update: Sarah Palin says it’s death panels!