Study: Decision Aids Show Promise In Reducing Medical Procedures

While policymakers debate whether doctors should be paid by the number of services they provide or the outcomes of their treatment, shared decision could have an impact on the ground by reducing demand for medical procedures. A new Health Affairs report about decision aids, materials given to patients to help educate them about treatment options, shows that they can help hold down costs.

“The decision aids discuss all the available treatment options equally,” said Dr. David Arterburn, an author of the study released Tuesday and investigator at Group Health Cooperative, a non-profit health system in Seattle. For example, in the aids for joint disorders, he said, “Losing weight and increasing physical activity are discussed in detail, as are anti-inflammatory medications, other over the counter medications, and prescription medications for treating osteoarthritis.”

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Source: Kaiser Health News