Monday, December 12, 2011

Proven No-Effect Medical Treatments Still Covered By Health Plans

The skeptical community gets justifiably irritated when woo like homeopathy gets paid for by insurance or by tax dollars (even worse, because it's not voluntary). The same extends to "regular" medicine - because there are plenty of procedures that meta-analyses show equal to no treatment. And here's a great example from Health Affairs: "Can Coverage Be Rescinded When Negative Trial Results Threaten A Popular Procedure? The Ongoing Saga Of Vertebroplasty".


vjack said...

It seems to me that this sort of thing would be perfect for conservative politicians to attack. After all, it represents waste. I suppose the fact that they seem content to ignore it suggests that maintaining their religious delusions is even more important.

Michael Caton said...

A lot of the medical procedures have no supernatural component, they're just regular procedures not supported by data. But patients (mostly senior citizens) keep getting them because they think they're doing something, and to touch that would be political suicide, despite that these same people decry waste as you say. So this is more about politics than about superstition.