Feds consider $3B treatment comparison initiative

Legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives have begun considering a bill that would fund research comparing the effectiveness of standard treatments for common medical conditions. The bill would be financed not only from CMS revenues, but also insurers and employers. The research would then be performed by HHS's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Drug makers and medical device companies will not be asked to fund the research; the assumption is that if they pay in, they might be tempted to influence the research in their favor. Despite the prospect of higher costs, some interest groups have already said that they're happy to kick in more money for effectiveness research. After all, "we're already paying for a lot of things that don't work right," said Steven Wojcik, vice president of public policy at large employer-backed National Business Group on Health. America's Health Insurance Plans also favors such a measure, though it's not clear whether it backs this particular bill. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Tom Allen (D-Maine) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.).

To get more information on the bill:
- read this United Press International article