Friday, February 11, 2011

VA health care

They've got a model electronic medical record. They look great on all the “metrics.” They're a central planner's dream. But what's the experience really like on the ground? Here are some of Happy's observations.


Billy Rubin said...

Looking through your various blog posts, I'm trying to reconcile how you pass along Happy's tidbit about this one case, but take to task Dan Carlat and his "pharmascold" brethren for their use of the anecdote in advancing their arguments. Are you trying to have it both ways, or do you see a distinction between the two?

I'm not well read on the subject of patient satisfaction, but my understanding is that studies (rather than isolated anecdotes) have shown that the VA stacks up quite well against private insurance models. If you know of something beyond anecdote that suggests otherwise, I would gladly review it.

His tale is, of course, no less true regardless, and likewise appalling, but given that you argued you can't infer much from a single anecdote viz. industry-sponsored CME, I wondered if you found that internally inconsistent.
Best, Billy

R. W. Donnell said...

I do not object to Dan Carlat posting anecdotes. I do have a problem with him basing an argument for policy change mainly on anecdotes.

I think Happy's story about the VA was worth noting, but certainly not enough to inflict policy change or even to recommend that patients avoid the VA.

Those who clamor for policy change with potential negative consequences should sustain a burden of proof.