Skip to comments.Editorial: To cut health costs, doctors, hospitals must end unneeded medical procedures
Posted on 04/08/2012 12:06:47 PM PDT by SmithL
For weeks now, the nation has been riveted by arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court over one provision of the Affordable Care Act. Does the law's requirement that every adult buy health insurance violate the U.S. Constitution?
We think it does not.
Yet even if the court ultimately shares that view, the federal health care reform law will face monumental hurdles to be successfully implemented. The biggest of these is its cost. Can the nation afford to insure all its citizens? If we don't get a handle on rising health care costs the answer to that more important question is an emphatic "no."
And that's what makes last week's announcement by physicians representing nine medical specialties so welcome. The physicians have identified 45 specific medical tests and procedures, five within each specialty, which they think are either overused or misused. They are either unnecessary, lacking benefits to patients or, in some cases, even harmful.
The most commonly overused procedure sited in the report include:
EKGs and other heart screening tests performed on patients with no evidence of risk.
Chest X-rays for patients undergoing outpatient surgery who are otherwise healthy adults with no cardiac symptoms.
CT scans or antibiotics for patients with mild or moderate sinus infections.
Routine cancer screening for dialysis patients, particularly those with limited life expectancies.
Bone scans on women under 65 and men under 70 years of age.
Extensive diagnostic tests for people with allergies.
CT scans and other imaging procedures for simple headaches.
Such tests and procedures rarely benefit patients. Worse, they can cause harm or lead to false positives and over treatment.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
The reason for those “uneeded” procedures is because people sue them all the time. They have to practice medicine defensively.
So the procedures actually are “needed.”
Exactly. Miss something due to not ordering a test and get sued. Waving this editorial around in the court room won’t serve as a defense.
Tort reform first.
Get Government and Employers out of medical insurance - let me buy my own policy with whatever benefits I want and can afford. Keep me, the patient, in the center (because I am paying the bills), and we’ll see how many tests and procedures are really needed. Home Owners Insurance wasn’t meant to cover broken windows and screens. Medical insurance was never meant to cover everything either. Hospital costs went up when Medicare contracts drove the train by paying a high % of the hospital’s “costs” - Charges skyrocketed. The patient was a mere pawn on the chessboard. This is about personal responsibility and freedom - get individual control back, and the costs will go down. It’s the only way. This is something that cannot be tweaked back to normalcy.
Once someone else is paying, you lose all decision making.
This should be between people and their doctors, this would never come up if everyone paid their own way.
I don’t understand how anyone can believe the government can compel someone to make a particular purchase. Even if someone buys the premise non-activity in the health insurance market is in fact participation, and therefore can be regulated under the commerce clause, I do not understand how purchasing a product can be compelled. There has to be much more to allow this.
The mandate is nothing more than a quip-pro-quo to the insurance companies to compensate them for the requirement to cover those with pre-existing conditions. It is a direct subsidy.
There are other ways to drive the necessary purchase of health insurance (tax credits, etc.). The individual mandate would set a precident for the federal government to mandate the purchase of anything. It is not narrow, because ObamaCare requirements are so broad.
and you would do that with politics, right?
If people paid for their own healthcare, they couldn't be gouged so easily.
Isn’t this the whole issue concerning Tort reform that Howard Dean said the Democrats were afraid to touch? If we only had a half hearted attempt at Tort reform, one half of ObamaCare would be unnecessary.
mandate you join a gym
mandate you buy a certain number of fruits and veggies each week
mandate you provide contraceptives to your children
all in the name of “health”
Yep... like we can’t see it coming
We do need competition but there needs to be some protection say if a company finds a natural cure for cancer and tries for decades and fails to make a marketable drug and people die. I know they need to charge for research but that is no excuse for massive overcharges even if you have your won healthcare.
The cost of medical services in the U.S. is directly related to: the vast number of illegal aliens receiving free care. Next of course meritless litigation adds to the cost. In addition, we have the so called “poor” receiving their freebees. I’m sure there are other factors but those that I named are pricing the middle class out of health care.
Using the “Health Care Mandate” you can decree ANYTHING because your health is affected either negatively or positively by everything you do, wear, eat, live at, etc.
That is why this whole Obamacare is so damn dangerous to the liberty of every citizen of the United States.
To the Editors of the Sacramento Bee: You could end “unneeded tests” without Obamacare if you instituted tort reform, but you consider the lawsuit lottery to be a civil right of Eric Holder’s people, so that will never happen.
No extensions of patents for meds, no patents for taxpayer funded research.
Watch the prices fall.
We absolutely need tort reform before the healthcare system can be made more efficient and less costly. John Edwards and his ambulance chasing buddies made more money off the healthcare system than any doctors.
Also, the decision about whether a procedure is necessary should be left to doctor and patient, not bureaucrats and newspaper editorial writers.
Like so many other editors of American newspapers, they need to grow a brain. Leftist idiots, all of them.
P.sS. Editor without a brain, it is totally unconstitutional, just as you are totally ignorant.