Health care reform assumes center stage in Contempo '93. While the possible changes created by the (as yet) unspecified US government administration agenda concern all the authors, indeed all physicians and patients, the means by which medicine may improve access for all to high-quality care at an affordable cost is the issue every author and every field of medicine must address. Whereas in the past physicians occasionally embraced new technologies before their efficacy had been established, today most physicians assume that procedures, treatments, and screening must be justified in terms of cost, quality of life, or morbidity and mortality. The only debate: what is the best means to improve care while controlling costs?
Outcomes research appears to be an important means of ensuring that screening and treatment will benefit the patient population as a whole. Not only is this form of research addressed at length in this issue's Medical News
Winker MA. Contempo '93. JAMA. 1993;270(2):183. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510020047010