Globe on reform and the cost of screening

See KHN and the usual suspects for the news on the possible demise of the public insurance plan option in the reform package.  

The Globe offers a story this morning about the cost-saving potential of preventive health and screening. 

While cholesterol tests, cancer screenings, and other preventive measures can save lives, there is strong disagreement about whether they really reduce health care spending, because the tests themselves are costly and often lead to more doctor’s visits and procedures. And now, that longstanding medical debate has become a big political sticking point

Here’s a link to the NEJM article mentioned in the Globe and another to Tufts program: The Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health.

My comment — I would not lump screening and prevention together.  Encouraging exercise is not the same as sending someone out for a questionable heart scan. Here’s a story from the NY Times on questions about the conventional wisdom of cancer screening.

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