3 Decades After Approval, Still on the Balancing Beam

Abstract: The adoption of expensive medical technology by individual providers to compete for patients is one of the reasons that U.S. healthcare is the world’s most expensive on a per capita basis. Many experts see proton beam as a classic example of an American-style medical arms race. “There’s real harm in spending money on something that’s not better and is more expensive. That harm is a hospital not investing in something else that could improve its community or improve the health of more patients,” Shannon Brownlee, special adviser to the president of the Lown Institute, wrote in a recent blog post about proton beam therapy.