Rein­ing in care

Di­a­logue sought on com­mon tests

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK - An­dis Robeznieks

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.”

ALAMY

The cam­paign en­cour­ages physi­cians and pa­tients to ques­tion the need for tests, such as CT scans, in cer­tain cir­cum­stances.

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