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TOO MUCH TESTING

MANY PEOPLE UNDERGO MEDICAL TESTS THAT JUST AREN'T NECESSARY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

When your doctor orders a test for you, your first thought probably isn't to ask whether or why you need this test, but perhaps it should be. A study just published in Archives of Internal Medicine establishes that four common tests, including blood counts, EKGs, imaging for low back pain, and bone density DEXA scans, are not only unnecessary for most, they cost billions of dollars per year. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says we can all help reduce medical costs by asking some questions.

MILLER: I would caution our patients to have a very critical eye for every test that is being ordered for them. Make sure you understand the benefit of the test, as well as the cost of the test, and not just the financial cost, but the potential downside of it leading to more tests, more radiation, more care, that could create anxiety and all kinds of issues for you. So just make sure you understand the science, the evidence behind the test, and what it means for you. :29

The study also shows that use of generic statin medications would impact health costs considerably. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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