Can Innovation Fix Medical Costs? (The Wall Street Journal)


In The Wall Street Journal’s online forum “The Experts,” Dartmouth’s H. Gilbert Welch responds to the question: Will globalization and technological innovation fix medical care?

“Don’t hold your breath,” says Welch, a professor of medicine at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and at the Geisel School of Medicine. Medical care, he says, is “largely a local good. While some patients will travel for elective surgeries (such as joint replacements and cataract repair), you aren’t flying to Thailand to have your ruptured appendix fixed.”

In terms of technology, Welch says, “There’s no shortage of technological innovations in medical care. But these typically do not subtract, but add cost. There are so many dimensions to medical care that it’s hard to conceive a single technological innovation impacting the entire industry.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 2/20/15 by The Wall Street Journal.

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