The medicalization of aging launches a long slow death with only a passing nod to quality of life. I was reminded of her book while reading a recent New Yorker article by Atul Gawande, Overkill, An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it. I blog specifically about the specificity of economics, culture , and history in Alzheimer's Disease but even generalized geriatric care on the far horizon of aging isn't being discussed in a meaningful way.
The virtuous patient is up against long odds, however. One major problem is what economists call information asymmetry. In 1963, Kenneth Arrow, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, demonstrated the severe disadvantages that buyers have when they know less about a good than the seller does. His prime example was health care. Doctors generally know more about the value of a given medical treatment than patients, who have little ability to determine the quality of the advice they are getting. Doctors, therefore, are in a powerful position. We can recommend care of little or no value because it enhances our incomes, because it’s our habit, or because we genuinely but incorrectly believe in it, and patients will tend to follow our recommendations.
Thoughtful discussions about content development and outcomes analytics that apply the principles and frameworks of health policy and economics to persistent and perplexing health and health care problems