FRANKLIN, Tenn.--()--The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation recently expanded its Choosing Wisely campaign, which now highlights over 130 specific tests or procedures that 17 leading physician specialty societies say are commonly ordered by doctors but are not always necessary or prudent for patients.
“We applaud the goals of Choosing Wisely because overuse and abuse have been persistent challenges in our healthcare system. For years, the unnecessary tests and procedures laid out by this campaign have been driving up costs and diminishing the quality of care provided to patients”
Fifty-one of the tests Choosing Wisely suggests patients question are ones that MedSolutions (http://www.medsolutions.com/), the leading medical cost management company, already manages effectively through the company’s prior authorization programs. These programs apply evidence-based guidelines to ensure appropriate care for 27 million Americans.
For example, a Choosing Wisely recommendation from the American Academy of Family Physicians encourages patients to question the need for imaging for low back pain within the first six weeks of experiencing discomfort, unless specific red flags are present. In reality, MedPAC reported that nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries with uncomplicated low back pain received an imaging service within 28 days, going against this evidence-based guideline. Overuse of imaging for low back pain carries the risk of false-positive findings, increased costs for the Medicare program and beneficiaries, and the potential to create a domino effect of additional procedures, such as surgery – factors that could be mitigated under a MedSolutions program.
“We applaud the goals of Choosing Wisely because overuse and abuse have been persistent challenges in our healthcare system. For years, the unnecessary tests and procedures laid out by this campaign have been driving up costs and diminishing the quality of care provided to patients,” said Dr. Gregg P. Allen, M.D., FAAFP, executive vice president and chief medical officer for MedSolutions.
The Journal of the American College of Radiology reported that one-third of imaging studies, like MRIs and CTs, are ordered inappropriately and, according to the American College of Physicians, excessive testing costs our healthcare system up to $250 billion annually. In addition to the economic impact, there are serious health concerns relating to unnecessary imaging.
“Medical specialty societies have had clinical guidelines to aid decision-making in place for years. The challenge is that their use has been inconsistent,” said Dr. Allen. “Education of both doctors and patients is an important part of the solution, but it’s not enough on its own. Accountability is also an essential part of the equation. There has to be an expert, independent partner to help ensure that the right test or procedure is being done for patients every time.”
MedSolutions has worked in partnership with health plans and physicians for over a decade to achieve the very goals of the Choosing Wisely program. The company is an advocate for the patient, asking the same questions about the necessity and benefits of testing and procedures that this campaign encourages.
MedSolutions is a medical cost management company, saving money for health plans and people by improving patient care. We achieve this through management programs for advanced imaging, cardiac imaging, radiation therapy, ultrasound, sleep management, oncology, spine surgery and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), as well as our innovative Premerus® program, which ensures that patients receive expert diagnoses. We are proud to help 27 million Americans receive higher quality, lower cost healthcare. MedSolutions has been recognized for outstanding customer service and effective call center management by the International Customer Management Institute and for four consecutive years by the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Award. Visit www.medsolutions.com.