Researchers calculate that in 2012, between $158 billion and $226 billion were spent on medical procedures that had no value. Much of the waste came from treatments that cost far more than equally effective -- or more effective -- alternatives, writes Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, in a recent Hospital & Health Networks Daily op-ed. "Fortunately, Congress took a little-noticed, important step in the Affordable Care Act to rectify this problem by funding comparative-effectiveness research, which uses data from clinical trials and real-world treatment settings to determine which health care practices are the most effective. But the promise of CER still might be dashed by special interests and a medical establishment that is too slow to change."

Read "Using Comparative-Effectiveness Research to Improve Care" in the Jan. 10, 2013, issue of Hospital & Health Networks Daily.