Physician Groups Identify Unnecessary Procedures
The list of 45 tests and procedures was pulled together by nine medical speciality groups to help reduce spending and improve patients' health.
Boston Globe: Many Common Procedures Unneeded, Say Doctors Groups
Nine medical specialty groups have released a list of 45 tests and procedures that patients often do not need -- even though doctors routinely perform them. They include annual electrocardiograms, CT scans for low back pain, and chest X-rays before surgery. Ordering these tests when they are not merited wastes money and can harm patients by exposing them to radiation and more unneeded medical procedures, the physician groups said (Kowalczyk, 4/4).
Kaiser Health News: Physicians Wade Into Efforts To Curb Unnecessary Treatments
Nine prominent physician groups today released lists of 45 common tests and treatments they say are often unnecessary and may even harm patients. The move represents a high-profile effort by physicians to help reduce the extraordinary amount of unnecessary treatment, said to account for as much as a third of the $2.6 trillion Americans spend on health care each year (Appleby, 4/4).
The Associated Press: New Effort By MDs To Cut Wasteful Medical Spending
Until now, the health care system has rewarded doctors for volume. Now the focus is shifting to paying for results and coordination. That explains the urgency for doctors themselves to identify areas of questionable spending. It's unclear how much money would be saved if doctors followed the 45 recommendations rigorously. Probably tens of billions of dollars, and maybe hundreds of billions over time. That would help, but come nowhere near solving, the problem of high health care costs (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/4).
The New York Times: Doctor Panels Recommend Fewer Tests For Patients
The recommendations represent an unusually frank acknowledgment by physicians that many profitable tests and procedures are performed unnecessarily and may harm patients. By some estimates, unnecessary treatment constitutes one-third of medical spending in the United States (Rabin, 4/4).
Reuters: Doctors Call For End To Five Cancer Tests, Treatments
One recommendation likely to stir controversy, and even revive charges of "death panels," is to not use chemotherapy and other treatments in patients with advanced solid-tumor cancers such as colorectal or lung who are in poor health and did not benefit from previous chemo. Such treatment is widespread (Begley, 4/4).
ABC: 5 Medical Tests You May Not Need
For many patients and doctors, it's easy to adopt the notion that if a little screening is good, more of it is better, "just to be sure" nothing is wrong. But that approach is costly, both in terms of health care dollars spent and the potential risks of the screenings (Gann, 4/4).
CNN: 5 Medical Tests You Often Don't Need
Forty-five tests and procedures routinely performed on patients are often unnecessary, according to a report released Wednesday by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (Bonifield, 4/4).
Meanwhile, in other medical news, some hospital officials are pressing their peers for more environmentally-friendly policies.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Hospital Group: Ditch Fast Food, Turn Down The Lights;
Eleven of the nation's largest hospitals systems – including Kaiser Permanente, HCA Healthcare, and Boston-based Partners HealthCare — today called on their industry to be better environmental stewards (Galewitz, 4/3).