Sometimes it’s ignorance. Sometimes it’s indifference. Sometimes it’s greed. Sometime’s it’s just a mistake. The bottom line is that we can do better. A new study found that in a single year:
- More than 600,000 patients underwent a treatment they didn’t need, treatments that collectively cost an estimated $282 million.
- More than a third of the money spent on the 47 tests or services went to unnecessary care.
- 3 in 4 annual cervical cancer screenings were performed on women who had adequate prior screenings – at a cost of $19 million.
- About 85 percent of the lab tests to prep healthy patients for low-risk surgery were unnecessary — squandering about $86 million.
- Needless annual heart tests on low-risk patients consumed $40 million.
And this is only in the state of Washington!!
Wasted spending isn’t hard to find once researchers — and reporters — look for it. An analysis in Virginia identified $586 million in wasted spending in a single year. Minnesota looked at fewer treatments and found about $55 million in unnecessary spending.
This is kind of ridiculous. We need to stop being ignorant, indifferent, greedy and realize that this stuff is inappropriate. Mistakes can happen but the rest is on us.
The article mentions some patients who demand these tests. I think that is valid but that is a small percentage of this problem.
What are your thoughts?