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"More is better" mindset may result in unnecessary testing

With more than 135 tests and procedures that are possibly overused by doctors, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation has launched a "Choosing Wisely" initiative designed to cut down on unnecessary or ineffective interventions. Unnecessary testing can lead to medical malpractice cases and can result in negative outcomes for Wisconsin patients.

The initiative began by identifying 45 tests, procedures and other interventions that may be unnecessary or even dangerous and are routinely used by doctors. One reason doctors may order these tests is pressure from patients and groups who mistakenly believe that if a doctor denies a procedure, he or she is providing substandard care.

The ABIM Foundation has received a $2.5 million grant to take the message that testing is not always necessary or desirable to local levels through regional health efforts. Some of the targeted procedures include stress tests in asymptomatic patients, routine annual Pap screenings and elective deliveries of babies prior to 39 weeks of gestation. Doctors from every specialty have already contributed suggestions for the list and are expected to contribute more.

For those who have suffered medical malpractice due to physician error or unnecessary testing or procedures, a Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney may be able to give sound legal advice about the victim's rights. Victims of medical malpractice may be able to recover sums for their pain, mental anguish and suffering as well as tangible costs such as unpaid medical expenses, wages lost from missed work and family living expenses that go unmet during an illness or recovery.

Source: Amed News, "Campaign to fight unneeded tests targets "more is better" mindset," Kevin B. O'Reilly, March 4, 2013

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