Doctors: 90+ Procedures Are Overkill, Drive Health Costs
New list outlines the overused, useless, and harmful
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 21, 2013 1:06 PM CST
A patient gets a CT scan in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

(Newser) – A group of doctors have assembled a list of more than 90 medical procedures that are overused, often useless, and even harmful, in a bid to drive Americans toward consuming less care. The report, from ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely program calls out everything from Pap tests (which it argues shouldn't be routine) to CT scans (which shouldn't be used for minor head injuries to children) to caesarean deliveries, which, when performed early, increase a baby's risk of learning disabilities or death, Forbes and the LA Times report.

"Millions of Americans are increasingly realizing that when it comes to health care, more is not necessarily better," one doctor said. The list was created with the help of 25 medical societies with specialists hailing from 17 disciplines. The foundation thinks the over-treating is a major driver of the US' sky-high medical costs; American doctors, for instance, perform almost twice as many CT scans and MRIs as doctors in the rest of the world. You can see all the project's lists here.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
bewilderbeast
Feb 26, 2013 2:10 AM CST
Yes. And thank you, doctors. But what you are forgetting to say (I am being kind here) is that the procedures that you DO deem necessary are being HUGELY over-charged. So p[lease don't forget to say that: 1. Many procedures are unnecessary; 2. All procedures are overcharged.
tran_tor
Feb 21, 2013 4:38 PM CST
For all those ESLs out there, 'Overkill' is pronounce 'P-r-o-f-i-t C-e-n-t-e-r-s'.
fractal
Feb 21, 2013 3:48 PM CST
I think that a lot of the time the wrong people are getting the tests. Ask the medicaid crowd if they are getting the medical tests they need. It took me three years to convince my ENT medicaid specialist to do the new-fangled CT scan that found my bone infection. He kept dicking around with stupid "cures" (like spooning vinegar solution in my ear for 2 months) and multiple office visits---OBVIOUSLY he was forcing me and medicaid to make it worth his while to really diagnose me. Of course, he admitted, after doing the test, that nothing but surgery would work for my problem, and that IF the surgery had been done earlier, I would not have had three years of pus dripping out my ear. He refused to comment on how much hearing loss was because the test wasn't done in a timely manner. In fact, he tried to make it sound like I was the one who didn't give permission for the test till three years later!!! I was quick to point out that was bullshit--(I asked him often why he didn't do the test, and he kept saying it was because "he still had a few tricks up his sleeve")--- but you can just bet that is what he wrote in the chart... And of course, because the infection was so long standing, it turned into a much bigger surgery, with a big chunk of infected bone being dug out and my eardrum being removed and shaved of its multiple layers of scar tissue, before being reinserted. I'm sure he made some money on that one.