Too many tests... or too few?
NOW they're suddenly interested in the over-testing, overtreatment, and over-diagnosis of American patients????
I've been saying for ages that we're poked, prodded, scanned, and zapped like no other people on earth -- and most of the time, those tests and treatments aren't just needless.
Many are downright dangerous, especially when they involve radioactive imaging.
Now, the mainstream claims it's catching on, with "expert" doctors making lists of everything THEY think YOU don't need.
Isn't that nice of them?
The new "Choose Wisely" campaign from Consumer Reports magazine and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, for example, has identified 45 tests and treatments they say you probably don't need.
They might even be right with many of them -- like the stress tests often given during physicals for people with no hint of heart risk. Or the imaging tests given to people with nonspecific low back pain (which are often used as an excuse for expensive surgical procedures that don't actually solve the problem and might even make it worse).
Those ARE overused and often unnecessary.
But I'd rather see Consumer Reports stick to reviewing toasters and washing machines, because I can't help but think this new campaign and others like it are about more than just a sudden interest in our collective health.
It's about cutting costs.
So now, instead of giving you something you might need, docs will check their list of approved tests -- and you could get denied a procedure that'll actually save your life.
Colonoscopies are a perfect example. "Choose Wisely" says you don't need them more than once a decade, or every five years if your last one detected polyps. But this is a test proven to save lives from a cancer that can turn deadly in a hurry if you wait too long (like, say, 10 years).
The problem right now isn't that colonoscopies are overused -- it's that too many people refuse to get them. And soon, you'll have to beg, steal, or borrow to get one or any other procedure you truly need.
Welcome to the future. And yes, I see penny-pinching ObamaCare hidden in the fine print of this one.