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Safety and Quality

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Consumers Union Documents

Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • It’s time we pay doctors for quality, not quantity

    If we ever hope to get spiraling health-care costs to come back down to earth, everyone involved is going to have to change how they do business. That means not only Congress, but us taxpayers, the insurance companies, the hospitals, and yes, the doctors.

  • New leadership on the way for FDA

    The much-beleagured Food and Drug Administration looks to be finally getting some strong leadership. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the former health commissioner for New York City, and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, currently Baltimore’s health commissioner, are expected to be nominated soon by President Obama.

  • Pharma’s bitter pill — comparative effectiveness funding in stimulus bill

    We get far too much of our information about medical treatments straight from the drug companies — and so do our doctors. Thankfully, there’s money in the stimulus package to fight the onslaught of drug reps and TV ads with real science.

  • FTC should examine Pfizer-Wyeth merger

    More concern over the proposed mega-merger of drug giants Pfizer and Wyeth and the anticipated end result for consumers: Higher drug prices and fewer breakthrough medicines.

  • Pfizer Wyeth Merger ahead: More marketing, less value

    The recently announced merger of drug giants Pfizer and Wyeth is another great argument for funding independent, unbiased research to help doctors and patients know which drugs and treatments work best – rather than who has the cleverest commercials and marketing slogans.

  • Saving money and lives — electronic health records

    Will transforming those silly, color-coded paper files that contain our medical histories into a computerized version really save us money?

News Articles

  • States cut mental health budgets as demand increases
    Source: Kaiser Health News (Thursday November 10, 2011)

    More than half the states have cut their mental health budgets since the recession hit home, while the economic slump has pushed up demand for such services, according to a new report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

  • 'Comparative effectiveness research’ tackles medicine’s unanswered questions
    Source: The Washington Post (Monday August 15, 2011)

    In American health care, nobody really owns the problem of figuring out what works best. The Obama administration created a permanent stream of funding for comparative effectiveness research by establishing, as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an independent entity called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI.

  • Case study: A new approach to chronic disease care
    Source: HealthyCal (Wednesday August 10, 2011)

    “Team Up For Health” (TUFH) is a pilot program that joins patients and their healthcare advocates with physician teams to broadly expand the care given to sufferers of chronic disease – in personnel and time. The goal is to keep people healthier and save money — for the patients and their families, the health care industry Continue Reading

  • Panel formed to give consumers reliable treatment information
    Source: Kaiser Health News (Wednesday August 3, 2011)

    The authors of the 2010 federal health law established an independent nonprofit organization called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Its mission is to compare treatments to determine which options make the most sense for particular people.

  • Medicare rule would decrease payments to hospitals with high re-admission rates
    Source: The Washington Post (Saturday July 30, 2011)

    In an effort to save money and improve care, Medicare, the federal program for the elderly and disabled, is about to release a final rule aimed at getting hospitals to pay more attention to patients after discharge. The efforts, called for in last year’s health-care law, are part of a push to make hospitals the hub for coordinating care.

  • Senate to add public option to health reform bill
    Source: Los Angeles Times (Tuesday October 27, 2009)

    Would allow for Americans who don’t get coverage through their employers; states could opt out of the program