Reining in care
Dialogue sought on common tests
It seems a fairly basic concept: If the information provided by a diagnostic test is unlikely to change a patient’s treatment plan, then physicians should think twice before ordering it. It’s the idea driving the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation-led Choosing Wisely campaign in which nine specialty societies—representing about 375,000 physicians—have each identified five commonly ordered tests or procedures “for which the use should be re-evaluated by patients and clinicians,” wrote Dr. Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation, and James Guest, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The article notes that, with “looming government deficits,” there are areas of healthcare spending that do not contribute to the health of an individual patient or a collective community, but “the polarizing political environment makes it difficult to conduct rational public discussions about this issue.”
The campaign encourages physicians and patients to question the need for tests, such as CT scans, in certain circumstances.