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New drugs, new devices, improved surgical techniques, and innovative diagnostic procedures and equipment emerge rapidly. But development of these technologies has outpaced evaluation of their safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and ethical and social consequences. This volume examines how new discoveries can be translated into better care, and how the current system’s inefficiencies prevent effective health care delivery. In addition, the book offers detailed profiles of 20 organizations currently involved in medical technology assessment, and proposes ways to organize U.S. efforts and create a coordinated national system for evaluating new medical treatments and technology.