Governor Pawlenty's "Best Practices" Plan Based on Faulty Premise

(St. Paul, Minnesota) - Governor Tim Pawlenty's should reconsider his plan to 'force health care providers to use best practices,' according to the Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC)

"It's obvious that the Governor's advisors do not understand the premise of 'best practices,'" said Twila Brase, president of CCHC, regarding the Governor's State of the State address today.

Yesterday, CCHC distributed to members of the House HHS policy committee a draft copy of their upcoming report on the dangers of legislating "best practice" guidelines. The subject of the committee hearing was the "best practices" initiative in HF1681, introduced by Rep. Bradley (R-Rochester)

THE PROBLEM

Using references from national and international medical journals, CCHC pointed out that the "best practices" initiative:

  • is based on faulty reasoning.
    Researchers and physicians do not agree on what constitutes "best practice" and have cautioned proscriptive use of best practice guidelines due to issues of bias, value judgments, economic decisions, poor research, and profit-motives.
  • is considered "cookbook medicine."
    Physicians are concerned that 'best practice' guidelines fail to allow them to respond to the individual needs, differences and preferences of patients.
  • would lead to the centralization and politicization of medicine.
    HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, insurers, and government would lobby the government agency authorized to approve "best practices" for inclusion of their health care philosophies.
  • will facilitate health care rationing.
    Those authorized to write and approve 'best practice' guidelines will be empowered to limit access to health care according to their own biases.

"It is critical that patients and physicians have the freedom to work together to meet the individual needs of patients. 'Best practices' sounds good, but the concept is meant to put doctors and patients in a box and keep them there. Nothing could be worse for patient care."

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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