In a program financed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, called the Independent Drug Information Service, we scan the medical literature for the best evidence on how to treat a given medical problem (like high cholesterol or arthritis), boil it down into user-friendly packets of information, and then send nurses and pharmacists out to doctors’ offices to recommend optimal treatments. The information we provide is unbiased and noncommercial, and we don’t offer free trips to golf resorts. The resulting savings from more cost-effective prescribing could more than cover the costs of programs like this.
If Greg Mankiw can create a Pigou club for people who endorse taxes on carbon fuels, perhaps I can create a COA club for people who endorse ideas in Crisis of Abundance.
I agree that doctors as well as patients lack information about which procedures are most cost-effective. Of course, I would add some statistical and economic analysis into the mix of information that is provided.