Hip and Knee Arthritis Guidelines Lack Science and Full of Industry Conflicts…

By /

Most Americans believe that the recommendations their doctors make are based on solid science and have their best interest at heart. To make those decisions, many times doctors use guidelines when trying to chose what care should work best. Given that the ACA places such a premium on doctors adhering to guidelines, what gets into these documents greatly impacts your healthcare. This is why a new research paper that exposes the serious conflicts of interests found in orthopedic guidelines is so concerning.

If you’re like most people, you may not even know too much about guidelines. They’re the behind the scenes instruction book that your doctor is supposed to follow to decide what type of healthcare you get. So for instance, which medication gets prescribed if you have knee arthritis, or what gets injected, or which surgery you undergo. You may also be unaware that the  Affordable Care Act forces the reliance on guidelines to a whole new level. Now these instruction sets and how well your doctor follows them are linked to how your doctor gets paid. So if guidelines are the strings in the puppet show of your healthcare providers, whose creating the guidelines and their conflicts of interests are the people pulling those strings. Regrettably a recent research paper exposed that the people pulling the strings aren’t necessarily making decisions based on what’s best for you, but more likely what’s best for them.

The research was a systematic review of the US National Library of Medicine of all of the orthopedic guidelines on hip and knee arthritis that had been recently published. The guidelines were first graded based on how solid the scientific evidence was that supported the document. The researchers also examined the conflicts of interest of the doctors writing the guidelines and whether they really had any despite what they reported. What did they find? 50% of the hip/knee osteoarthritis guideline recommendations were based on lower quality evidence. A conflicts of interest (COI) occurs when a doctor making a recommendation has accepted money or other things from a company who would financially benefit if the doctor recommended that drug or device. Nearly half the guidelines failed to disclose relevant COI and when disclosed, multiple potential conflicts were found. In fact, an average of about 30 COI per guideline!

The upshot? Conflicts of interest in medicine are ubiquitous and often under reported by physicians. I can’t tell you how many conferences I’ve attended where I knew the speaker was working with X company and that fact was never disclosed. Having said that, these new revelations of serious COI in arthritis treatment guidelines take on a new meaning now that doctors are increasingly being forced to treat patients based on guidelines. At least when physicians were free to practice as they saw fit and decide on their own what was best for the patient, the fact that the guidelines were corruptible had less impact!

Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.
Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

Get Blog Updates by Email

We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

By submitting the form you agree that you’ve read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may use email, phone, or other electronic means to communicate information about Regenexx.

We will provide information to help you decide whether you want to schedule an evaluation with a Regenexx Physician.

Insurance typically covers evaluations and diagnostic testing (if recommended). Most insurance plans currently do not cover Regenexx Procedures.

Category: Latest News
Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address

9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021

Phone

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.

LinkedIn
Email
TO TOP