Diagnosis related groups are 6 years old; Canada's health care system is alternately blessed and cursed; the relative value of cognitive and procedural services sits at the brink. We hardly need to call readers' attention to any JAMA article on economics. However, in this issue of The Journal Eisenberg1 offers a primer on clinical economics that deserves brief comment.
Today, there are compelling reasons for physicians to understand more of the "dismal science." Clinicians wonder how adopting a new therapy changes cost vs outcome, investigators seek promising research questions in the face of funding restrictions, and administrators puzzle over which organizational model protects the bottom line while maintaining proper patient care. The solutions to these problems affect not only our patients and us, but payers and society as well. Obviously each party takes a somewhat different view.
Eisenberg,1 in showing how the tools of economic analysis can help