(Reuters Health) - Professional medical societies don't often consider costs when they're developing their treatment guidelines for specific conditions, according to a new study.
Researchers found that just over half of the top medical societies with at least 10,000 members considered costs when developing best practices. The other half either implicitly considered costs or didn't address them at all.
"Even when they said they looked at costs, they didn't seem to have a clear, consistent or rigorous way to do so," said Dr. Steven Pearson, the study's senior author and a visiting scientist in the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Pearson and his colleague Dr. Jennifer Schwartz write in JAMA Internal Medicine that while a lot of debate has focused on the cost of healthcare in the U.S., few researchers have looked at whether professional societies develop their treatment recommendations with costs in mind.
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