Answering Difficult Questions

Attaining high-quality, affordable and accessible health care has many challenges and dilemmas. Changes necessary to achieving those goals can benefit from an understanding of public values and priorities. Deliberation addresses such difficult questions as:

  • What should health plans cover if they can’t cover everything?
  • Should more resources be provided to disadvantaged groups with poorer health status?
  • Can a treatment be too expensive to be “worth it”?
  • How should Medicare be changed to be more responsive to the seniors of tomorrow?
  • What is the public’s role in reducing medical services that have little or no benefit?
  • What has greatest priority for hospital quality improvement?
  • If there are limits to research dollars, what types of research should have high priority?
  • What is the fairest way to structure a cost-sharing plan for patients?
  • When should doctors say “no” to patients who want ineffective treatments?
  • What role, if any, should incentives play in encouraging patients to be healthy?

Addressing these and other topics may be relevant to local, state or national policy.