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January 1992

Joint Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs and the Council on Medical Service: Technology Assessment in Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(1):46-50. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400130072007

The rapid proliferation of health care technology and the increasing concern about cost containment are major converging forces in today's health care system. These forces argue persuasively for the rigorous evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of technologies and for the use of such evaluative information as the foundation of both clinical decision making and public policy formulation. Thus, technology assessment is an essential tool in improving the quality of health care delivered and in maximizing the efficiency of the health care system. The American Medical Association historically has been dedicated to the provision of sound scientific information to enhance the appropriate utilization of health care technology. This objective remains the primary goal of the American Medical Association's activities in technology assessment. Additionally, with the ascendancy of nonphysician segments of the health care community in making policies that affect the availability of technology, the American Medical Association's assessment programs must represent physicians' views and concerns cogently in public policy debates (eg, coverage). The Council on Scientific Affairs and the Council on Medical Service examined the area of technology assessment and its influence on the payment for and the utilization of health care technology. The councils made specific recommendations to ensure that the American Medical Association maintains the sophisticated capabilities and sufficient capacity to meet the needs of physicians and patients alike in today's complex health care environment.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:46-50)