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:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... WHAT: ... networking and recognition opportunities as well as advocacy for the state and region‘s ... on February 23. The Council's Innovation Forecast event highlights innovation throughout the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... With millions of Americans and people worldwide struggling ... are aware of our options and are empowered with strength and information throughout ... its newest edition of "Vision and Hearing" in USA Today, that will educate ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor ... on Bible Prophecy concerning this present generation. Yisrayl makes an astounding statement when ... generation. He explains that the Bible details the current times so plainly that ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... Congratulations to ... Elite division on February 12th. Ms. Esparza qualified into this prestigious status ... competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is one of approximately 25 gymnasts ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive ... the La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach to host its Swirl: Miami ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... YORK , Feb. 23, 2017  The ... 330.6 million by 2021 from USD 275.9 million ... Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04718602-summary/view-report.html ... increasing spending on pharmaceutical R&D, and growth in ... driving the market growth for particle counters. On ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest ... provides drug pricing data and benchmarks in the global Autism Spectrum ... What are the key drugs marketed for Autism ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... CITY, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: ... evidence-based solutions for the treatment of chronic pain, today reported ... December 31, 2016. 2016 Accomplishment & Highlights: ... full year 2016, an increase of 228% as reported, over ... for 2016, an increase of 612% over the prior year ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: