Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Computer Helps Doctors Make Cost-Saving Decisions
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement will make a system that helps doctors make more informed decisions available Minnesota doctors next year. The system has apparently eliminated about $28 million a year in unnecessary tests in a trial program in which it was made available to about 2,000 Minnesota doctors. "In some ways, the project began as an act of desperation. Insurers were alarmed by the skyrocketing cost of CT scans and other high-tech procedures, which were growing by 8 percent a year in Minnesota and by double digits nationwide. At the same time, doctors were alarmed by the insurers' attempts to crack down on those tests - hiring consulting firms to screen all requests in advance." The system is a sort of third way that provides guidance to doctors based on patients' symptoms and other information. Doctors can still order other tests or treatments if they wish (Lerner, 11/9).
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