"Whining is not an unusual event for doctors in the healthcare system," Kaufman says, but in this new environment where hospitals want to recruit doctors, a high-producing physician threatening to leave becomes a bigger issue.
One example of physicians demanding a technology comes with the da Vinci, a robot used primarily for prostate cancer and hysterectomy surgeries, and which number 1,500.
The ECRI report describes "costly robot wars." It says that although proponents tout the da Vinci's improved visualization capabilities, as well as its precision, and dexterity, at a $3.5 million, five-year cost, ECRI says, "the real unanswered questions are how much value they add, and, more importantly, how and when will they definitively improve patient care and long-term outcomes?"
2. Marketing campaigns to best the competition. C-suite executives or board members think a particular technology may look good on a TV or billboard marketing campaign. The ads say this hospital or practice really cares (much more so than its competitors) about its patients. It says these doctors are smarter, because they've taken the time to learn this new technology. Myers says that once a competitor buys something big, hospitals become "very reactive, almost like they go into panic mode and they have to buy" the same thing.
One example is proton-beam therapy. On Jan. 2, an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times slammed the Mayo Clinic for building two football field-sized, $180 million proton beam centers, one in Rochester, MN and another in Phoenix, AZ, and called it "crazy medicine and unsustainable public policy."
The authors, University of Pennsylvania provost Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, an oncologist and former White House adviser, and Steven D. Pearson, MD, a general internist, and president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Technology Assessment said the Mayo is competing with a handful of other hospital systems that have them in a "medical arms race" That doesn't improve care.