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Comparative Effectiveness

Comparative effectiveness research is a hot topic in discussions of healthcare reform and promises improved health outcomes as well as vast cost savings. The concept of comparative effectiveness is positive, provided the emphasis is on clinical effectiveness. Comparative effectiveness research must also take into account that diagnostic outcomes should be evaluated differently than therapeutic outcomes therefore policy makers should understand the unique characteristics of medical imaging devices. For example, these devices require appropriate training and education for operation and the devices are not implantable. These are important distinctions from many other types of therapies.

Comparative effectiveness research, properly applied, has the potential to lead to earlier diagnosis of disease and earlier, more effective treatment. For example, an invasive procedure might be avoided, shortening a hospital stay.

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