Unnecessary medical care: more common than you might think.
This is one of the financial bo one problems that America’s health-care system is struggling to deal with: many patients get a lot of unnecessary tests and procedures.
Even though most women are recommended every three to five years, women can still have annual cervical cancer screening. Prior to the elective procedure, healthy patients should receive unnecessary laboratory work. Doctors often order annual ecg and other heart tests for people who don’t need them.
All this adds up to a considerable cost, which increases the cost of care for all of us. But, how many, but very few records. So, the Washington health alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making care safer and more affordable, decided to find out.
The group searched the insurance claims of 1.3 million patients in Washington state and accepted 47 medical experts who identified one of the tests or services that were overused or unnecessary.
The team found that doctors and their patients should be asked to rethink the next referral. Within one year:
More than 600, 000 patients received the treatment they did not need, which totaled $282 million.
More than a third of the money spent on 47 tests or services was unnecessarily taken care of.
Screening for three of the four annual cervical cancer screening tests was enough for women – $19 million.
About 85 per cent of laboratory tests for low-risk operations to prepare healthy patients were unnecessary – about $86 million wasted.
Low-risk patients spend $40 million a year on unnecessary heart checks.
A report by Susie Dade, the coalition’s deputy director and lead author, said on Thursday that almost half of all inspections were wasted. Most of these include low-cost, ubiquitous testing and treatment, and no reappearance. But “small things add up,” she says. “For a single doctor and patient,” why not do the test? What’s the difference? ”
ProPublica spent a year researching how America’s health care system wastes money, which is often overlooked by providers and patients. This waste is widespread – $765 billion a year, according to the national institute of medicine, is equivalent to about a quarter of the annual cost of medical care.
The cost of health care, which has exceeded inflation for decades, has left patients and employers desperate for relief. This week, amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase sparked an industry shock by promising to create their own joint ventures to lower health-care costs.
Once researchers and journalists look for it, it’s not hard to waste. A Virginia analysis shows that $586 million of wasteful spending occurred within a year. Minnesota saw fewer treatments and found that the cost was about $55 million.
Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor at the Dartmouth Institute who wrote the book on overuse, said the findings returned to “economics 101.” The medical system is still being tested and programmed by the payment system payment provider. “Rewards are important,” Mr. Welch said. “As long as people do more, they tend to do too much.”
Dr. Dade said the medical community’s commitment to “not harm” should also include saddles who could not afford medical care. “Doing unnecessary things and sending patients large amounts of money is a financial hazard,” she says.
Officials from the Washington hospital and medical association did not dispute the coalition’s findings, saying it was an important step toward reducing waste in the health care system. But they say the patient is responsible for some of the waste treatment. Patients often insist that medical providers “do something”, such as writing a prescription or testing it. This kind of thinking leads to overuse of antibiotics and other problems, which is one of the problems examined in the study.
Jennifer Graves, vice President of patient safety at the Washington State Hospital Association, said the report could help change the assumptions of providers and patients and lead to unnecessary care. Prescription or technology often does not provide easy treatment, graves says. “Watching and waiting” may be a better approach, she says.
To identify Waste, the alliance has run commercial insurance claims through a software tool called Milliman MedInsight Health Waste Calculator. These services were provided during the one-year period beginning in mid-2015. These claims are the tests and treatments often abused by the American preventive services task force and the American internal medicine foundation’s “smart choice” campaign. The tool divides services into three categories: necessary, potentially wasteful or wasteful.
The report’s “call for action” indicates that excessive use must be the focus of “honest discussion” about the value of health care. It also says the system needs to shift from payment services to the value provided.