New Group To Set Priorities for Medical Effectiveness Research

More than 2 years ago, studies found that injection of medical cement into compression fractures of the spine produced no better pain relief than "sham" injections. Yet doctors continue to perform the $5,000-plus procedure and most insurers, including Medicare, still cover it.

The continued use of spinal cement injections is a cautionary tale for those who hope to slow the rise of healthcare spending by compiling evidence about what works and what doesn’t.

Congress and the Obama administration are betting more than $3 billion over the next decade that comparative effectiveness research (CER) can transform medical care by helping determine the best approach to a particular illness. On Wednesday, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) will release national priorities for spending that money.

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Source: Kaiser Health News