The high cost of health care has led to proposals to reduce wasteful medical technology under Medicare and other payment systems. Professor Mehlman warns that achieving this objective, while laudable in theory, is problematic because of the difficulties of defining, detecting and eliminating technology waste. A particular danger is that, in an effort to reduce waste, patients will be denied not only technologies that are wasteful from the patient's own perspective but technologies that yield net patient benefit. This risk is exacerbated by the Medicare prospective payment system, which rewards hospitals financially in inverse proportion to the amount of care they furnish patients. Professor Mehiman describes legal methods to reduce this risk, and recommends significant changes in the Medicare administrative process.


Waste Theory

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Case Western Reserve Law Review

Publication Information

36 Case Western Reserve Law Journal 778 (1986)


COinS Maxwell J. Mehlman Faculty Bio