"In a health care system that spends $2.5 trillion a year, less than one-tenth of 1% is spent on research to determine what treatment options work best - and, in some cases, whether they work at all.
"We spend billions of dollars on developing new treatments and technologies, but we don't go back through and say, 'OK, how do they work?' " said Murray Ross, director of research at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy.
The result is tens of billions of dollars - and maybe much more - spent each year on treatments that are of marginal or questionable value.
In recent years, doctors, economists, health plans, business groups and others have called for increased research on comparative effectiveness - research that compares different treatment options.
That's about to happen."