Others would like to have the insurance companies take on the doctors treatment decision process and deny coverage based on a FORMULA. An independent (funded in large part by insurance companies) ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review) following in footsteps of NICE (the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has looked to develop a formula which will value a year of life at between $50,000 to $100,000. In addition, they use a gauge of life which devalues a year of a patient's life to a fraction of a year the sicker the patient is. They actually go negative for someone who is bedridden and can not care for themselves.
This is a very complex subject, and luckily Dr. Rajkumar of Mayo Clinic, a respected and world renowned myeloma specialist, has been kind enough to be part of a Cure Talks broadcast to help to educate the doctors, patients, and the general public on what these programs are and how they might affect the doctor patient relationship. I can tell you that there has been a tidal wave of criticism of the ICER program. One view of the program comes from Dr. Durie, the head of the International Myeloma Foundation. You can read his evaluation of the ICER program if you CLICK HERE.
The Cure Talks broadcast will be on May 19th at 6:00PM EST. I will provide the details of the program in a later post.