New effort by MDs to cut wasteful medical spending
Old checklist for doctors: order that test, write that prescription. New checklist for doctors: first ask yourself if the patient really needs it.
Nine medical societies representing nearly 375,000 physicians are challenging the widely held perception that more health care is better, releasing lists Wednesday of tests and treatments their members should no longer automatically order.
The 45 items listed include most repeat colonoscopies within 10 years of a first such test, early imaging for most back pain, brain scans for patients who fainted but didn’t have seizures, and antibiotics for mild- to-moderate sinus distress.
Also on the list: heart imaging stress tests for patients without coronary symptoms. And a particularly sobering recommendation calls for cancer doctors to stop treating tumors in end-stage patients who have not responded to multiple therapies and are ineligible for experimental treatments.