Daily Rounds: Taking Sides On Cost; God's Hospital; When Anecdote Trumps Statistics; Alzheimer's Drug Effective

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Health Cost Issue Divides Former Allies In Mass. (The Boston Globe) — "The state’s largest business groups, which came together to play a key role in passage of the 2006 law that expanded health insurance coverage, are now divided over how aggressively to slow the growth of health costs. Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a business trade group, has called for tighter controls on spending than the House or Senate has proposed. Its regular allies - including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a research organization for employers - warn against over-regulation. The fracture highlights how the health care debate has changed in five years. There are no clearly defined camps. Controlling costs is a more nuanced issue than expanding coverage, some advocates said. And the stakes are higher."

A Hospital That Gave Its patients Times To Heal — (The New York Times) — "Sick people need time, she demonstrates repeatedly, and their doctors do too. The sick body takes time to heal, the mind even longer, and in the elderly it all takes longer still. Medications take time to work; misprescribed ones take time to leave the system. Doctors need time to sit with their patients, to think, to read, to consult, to catch their mistakes. The whole process moves like a snail — or, perhaps, like an ancient nun navigating a garden path. But when you rush it, you get exactly the problems that now confound us all: consumer misery and medical mistakes galore."

With PSA Testing, The Power of Anecdote Often Trumps Statistics (NPR) — "I'm a firm believer the PSA test has saved my life," he says. And he doesn't think much of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the government-appointed expert panel that advised against routine PSA testing after analyzing reams of statistics. "My theory on statistics," Fouts says, "is anybody can look at the same stats and come up with their own opinion. Government does it; each political party does it. Whatever you want it to come up to read, you can fine-tune it and make it come up to that." Hal Arkes, a psychology professor at Ohio State University, says Fouts' way of thinking is nearly universal. The power of the anecdote almost always overwhelms statistical analysis, he says."

Lundbeck Says Alzheimer's Drug Effective In Trial (Reuters ) — "Danish drugmaker Lundbeck said patients who took its Alzheimer's drug candidate Lu AE58054 in a phase 2 clinical trial achieved statistically significant improvement in cognitive performance when the compound was added to donepezil."

This program aired on May 29, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.