Report One-Fifth of Medical Care Is Unnecessary, Doctors Say

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by tom_mai78101, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    Americans spend at least $3.2 trillion on health care each year. That's well beyond any other country in total and per capita. A great many factors feed the glut, but a primary contributor is overtreatment. Unnecessary tests and procedures account for at least $200 billion in spending every year. That's ten NASA budgets spent on health care that doesn't make anybody healthier.

    Doctors are well aware of this problem, and yet, it persists. According to a new survey of 2,106 physicians conducted by researchers at Harvard and Johns Hopkins University, 20.6% of of medical care is unnecessary.

    The survey is published in PLoS ONE.

    The responding physicians were randomly selected from the American Medical Association master file. Just over half were primary care physicians and the rest were specialists. Four in ten of the specialists focused on general internal medicine. All of the doctors answered the question, "In your specialty, what percent of overall care do you think is unnecessary?" The group collectively replied that 22.0% of prescribed medications, 24.9% of conducted tests, and 11.1% of completed procedures were not needed.

    The most cited reason for overtreatment was "fear of malpractice." An astounding 84.7% of the responding physicians feared a lawsuit if they didn't exercise every treatment precaution. "Patient pressure/request" and "difficulty accessing prior medical records" were the next most common reasons, at 59% and 38.2% respectively.


    Read more here. (Real Clear Science)
     

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