Navigation Links
New research shows $6.7 billion spent on unnecessary tests and treatments in one year
Date:10/3/2011

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that $6.7 billion was spent in one year performing unnecessary tests or prescribing unnecessary medications in primary care, with 86 percent of that cost attributed to the prescription of brand-name statins to treat high cholesterol. The findings are published in a research letter in the October 1 Online First issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Led by Minal Kale, MD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the research team reviewed findings from a study published in the May 2011 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, which identified the top five most overused clinical activities in each of three primary care specialties: pediatrics, internal medicine, and family medicine. With this information, they performed a cross-sectional analysis of separate data that were pulled from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. They found more than $6.7 billion was spent in excess healthcare spending in the primary care setting in 2009. Eighty-six percent, or more than $5.8 billion of the unnecessary spending, resulted from the prescribing of brand-name statins rather than generic versions.

"Our analysis shows astronomical costs associated with prescribing of brand name statins when effective, generic alternatives were available. Efforts to encourage prescribing of generics clearly have not gone far enough," said Dr. Kale. "Additionally, millions are spent on unnecessary blood work, scans, and antibiotic prescriptions. Significant efforts to reduce this spending are required in order to stem these exorbitant activities."

The remaining costs were attributable to the following:

  • During physical exams, more than half of complete blood work ordered was not needed, resulting in more than $32 million in excess costs.
  • Unnecessary bone density scans in younger women accounted for more than $527 million.
  • CT scans, MRIs, or X-Rays in people presenting with back pain accounted for $175 million in excess healthcare costs.
  • Over-prescription of antibiotics for sore throat in children, excluding cases of strep throat or fever, accounted for $116 million in unnecessary costs.
  • Other excess costs included needless annual echocardiograms, urine testing, pap tests, and pediatric cough medicine prescriptions.

"We found considerable variability in the frequency of inappropriate care, however our data show that even activities with small individual costs can contribute substantially to overall healthcare costs," said Dr. Kale. "In light of the current healthcare reform debate, we need more research examining how overuse contributes to healthcare spending. Research might focus on the potential role of reimbursement, defensive medicine practices, or lack of adherence to guidelines."

The authors note that the analysis is limited to the data provided by the surveys and that they were conservative in their assessments. They conclude that this type of analysis should be extended to medical specialties outside of primary care and that physicians should make efforts in their own practices to evaluate costs and reduce them where necessary in order to achieve affordable, high-quality care.


'/>"/>
Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
newsmedia@mssm.edu
212-241-9200
The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers review studies on CCSVI-MS link
2. Campaign for Cancer Prevention connects 6 million+ members on Facebook Causes to research at BWH
3. Researchers call for more awareness of male breast cancer as cases rise
4. Researchers transform iPhone into high-quality medical imaging device
5. Global biotech firm partners with CHEO researcher to address a technology gap in infectious disease
6. Fox Chase researchers identifiy more accurate treatment delivery for robotic radiosurgery system
7. Lifespan researcher wins Ig Nobel Prize
8. Penn researcher helps identify superfast muscles responsible for bat echolocation
9. Georgia Tech researchers receive 3 NSF Emerging Frontiers awards
10. Childrens National researchers make breakthrough in understanding white matter development
11. UH researchers explain hormonal role in glucose and fat metabolism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... 150+ Hospital and Health System Executive Speakers including: , , Chief ... the United States of America: George W. Bush , Boxing Legend, Successful Entrepreneur ... Leonard , JD, Chairperson, McGuireWoods LLP: Amber McGraw Walsh , Senior ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on VoiceAmerica, recently talked on ... 22nd, but she also used the occasion to remind listeners of an important distinction. ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Natural ... all aspects of people’s health and nutrition, announced its product Leyzene is now ... Natural Subsistence develops nutritional supplements that help people improve all aspects of their ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... Inflow IQ & Inflownomics of Raleigh, NC introduce a powerful information access network. ... experts in dangerous situations the Inflow IQ team can help people. Get ready ... & refreshing knowledge systems that enhance life. , Authentically enjoy 500 ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... , ... The American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP) ... Health Care Quality and Management and Patient Safety. , It is with appreciation and ... also to the Health Care Quality and Patient Safety movements. Diplomates and Members lead ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Additive Orthopaedics, LLC., an early ... has kicked off a multi-centered clinical study to ... segments. According to Brian McLaughlin ... lattice structures have already shown tremendous post-operative success ... allograft wedges from which we have seen evidence ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Newborns are highly vulnerable ... vaccines because their young immune systems typically mount ... Hospital report achieving strong vaccine responses in newborn ... before human trials — by adding compounds known ... two simultaneous papers, they also describe improved adjuvant ...
(Date:3/23/2017)...  A new genetic test has been discovered ... who carry HLA-B*15:02 and who are ... deadly side effect of certain medications used to ... HLA-B*15:02 is strongly associated with life-threatening severe ... toxic epidermal necrolysis in patients treated with carbamazepine ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: