Patients and physicians alike clearly benefit from innovations in treatment. However, the conundrum is clear: how can innovation continue to be fostered in the face of health policy issues and economics?
“This is the reality in which we live,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Parke delivered the Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture titled, “When Cost and Innovation Collide in Ophthalmology” at the Glaucoma 360 annual meeting in San Francisco.
The importance of this in today’s political environment cannot be over emphasized. Health care is the No. 1 or No. 2 issue for voters and more specifically the cost of health care. It is probably the single issue in Washington, D.C., on which both parties are united, Dr. Parke pointed out. But this is where the picture gets muddied a great deal. Concerns about cost do not involve one drug or device but affects everything in health care and for every practice in ophthalmology.
“The bottom line is that if cost limits the clinical impact of innovation, then it limits innovation itself,” Dr. Parke said.