Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diagnostic Tests - How Meaningful Are Guidelines?

A 2006 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that from 5% to 43% of three tests (EKG, x-ray, urinalysis) were ordered for apparently healthy, asymptomatic individuals during routine preventive exams - tests which evidence and guidelines recommended against performing.
"Annual direct costs for the three interventions range from $47 million to $194 million."
I suppose if we're willing to accept the ordering of tests that go beyond guidelines, we're willing to accept increases in medical costs that accompany them.


Anonymous said...

Very insightful Rollingstone article you linked. Everyone should read it. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

oops wrong post. Meant to post in: Healthcare Reform Is Looking Rosy For Insurance and Drug Companies. Please move if that's possible, sorry.

Bix said...

I posted it there but I think I'll leave it here too, because it was a great article and it's worth mentioning again :)