SHAHEEN AND KLOBUCHAR DISCUSS HEALTH CARE REFORM AT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK MEDICAL CENTER

August 10, 2009

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today discussed health care reform during a tour of the Spine Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

After the tour, the Senators took part in a roundtable discussion on policy reforms with experts from the Dartmouth Atlas Project and The Center for Informed Choice.  As the Senate continues to develop health care reform plans, comparative effectiveness research, such as that being conducted by the Dartmouth Atlas Project, has been one of the key ways to reduce wasteful spending in the health care system so that costs can be contained while improving health outcomes.

"Expanding the use of comparative effectiveness research is the kind of common sense approach that needs to be addressed as Congress works to improve our health care system," said Senator Shaheen.  "As Congress develops reform proposals, my primary focus is to contain costs so that health care is more affordable and accessible. Identifying the treatments that work is the first step, then we must cut waste and fraud so that valuable health care dollars are spent on improving patient outcomes."

 

"Dartmouth has shown that rewarding quality, not quantity, can save the U.S. billions of dollars a year and transform our health care system into one that concentrates on delivering the best care for patients," said Klobuchar. "As we move forward with health care reform we need cost efficient proposals that will protect what works, cut out waste, and make our system work for middle class families."

 

"Should a patient with early stage breast cancer have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy with radiation if evidence shows that both are equally effective? When treatment decisions are a toss-up, we believe the choice should be the patient's, based on their own values and what is most important to them," said Dr. Dale Collins, Director of the Center for Informed Choice.  "What we find is that patients armed with good information generally choose less invasive treatment, have better outcomes and higher satisfaction, all at lower costs.  I believe shared decision-making is essential to any meaningful health care reform.  We're grateful for the interest and support Senators Shaheen and Klobuchar have shown."

 

The Dartmouth Atlas Project documents variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States. The project uses Medicare data to provide comprehensive information and analysis about national, regional, and local markets, as well as individual hospitals and their affiliated physicians.  The Center for Informed Choice is dedicated to ensuring that patients are equal and informed partners in making choices about their own health care. 

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