February 21, 2013

MAKE THE CUSTOMERS WASTE THEIR OWN MONEY:

Do You Really Need That Test? Doctors Warn on 90 Treatments ( YUVAL ROSENBERG, 2/20/13, The Fiscal Times)

The new list adds 90 more treatments that should be scrutinized, with the stated intent of prompting conversations between patients and doctors about which are really necessary. Doctors might order tests that aren't needed in order to placate patients, increase profits or avoid potential lawsuits and accusations of negligence.

"We always talk about this campaign as removing waste, improving quality and improving safety," says Daniel Wolfson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ABIM Foundation. "As a byproduct, it might or might not reduce costs. We hope that it would, but it's not our primary objective. Our primary objective is to change the American public's attitude that more is always better and physicians' attitudes about their responsibility to be good managers of resources on behalf of their patients."

While the campaign itself won't measure any cost reductions achieved, there are billions in savings to be had by eliminating waste. The U.S. spends an estimated $2.5 trillion a year on health care, or more than $8,000 per person - far more than in other developed countries. Much of that money is wasted. The U.S. health care system squandered about $750 billion a year as of 2009, or more than a third of total health care expenditures, according to a report released last year by the Institute of Medicine. That included some $210 billion in excess costs due to unnecessary services.


Posted by at February 21, 2013 5:27 AM
  
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