Although population health analyses involve many assumptions and complicated statistical methods, the findings from studies, like that of Morse and coauthors1 in this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, are extremely important because they can affect disease management and health care policy. Effective health care policy is encumbered by many factors, including intertwining and seemingly contradictory objectives that seem impossible to separate. For example, attempts to modulate total system cost can affect quality, and vice versa. Analyses of cost that focus on individual care events, limited periods, or specific diseases inevitably present a distorted perspective. Unfortunately, at times, policy is formulated without ideal scientific evidence.
Parke DW, Coleman AL. New Data Sets in Population Health Analytics. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online April 04, 2019137(6):640–641. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0410
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