As Summer begins, we wanted to highlight recent media coverage of the Choosing Wisely campaign. Stay up-to-date by following @ABIMFoundation and #ChoosingWisely on Twitter.
Kaiser Health News: Putting A Lid On Waste: Needless Medical Tests Not Only Cost $200B — They Can Do Harm
This story, which was syndicated in outlets across the country, outlines how Choosing Wisely grantee partners in California — Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group and Sutter Health — are reducing unnecessary tests and treatments. It also outlines how other California organizations, such as Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, have embraced the campaign to promote evidence-based care, which has ultimately led to millions in cost savings.
CNBC: Minorities more likely than whites to get ‘low-value’ health care
This story outlines research originally published in Health Affairs that examined the prevalence of 11 diagnostic services and treatments identified as low-value by the Choosing Wisely initiative among black, Hispanic and white fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older. Results showed that black and Hispanic patients with dementia had greater odds of inappropriately receiving feeding tubes. Black and Hispanic beneficiaries were also significantly more likely to receive unnecessary cardiac screening and preoperative testing, among other low-value services. Researchers noted: “Our findings suggest a possible double jeopardy for minority patients: Long understood to be at risk of receiving less effective care, they also appear to be often at risk of receiving more ineffective care.”
MinnPost: Minnesotans spent at least $55 million on unnecessary medical procedures in 2014, MDH says
The Minnesota Department of Health released a report that detailed how, in 2014, Minnesotans spent at least $55 million dollars on 18 health services that provide little or no benefit to patients and may cause harm. The report found 92,000 instances of diagnostic imaging in situations where tests are widely recognized as providing low diagnostic value and 69,000 instances of low-value screening for cancer or carotid artery disease. The Minneapolis Post noted that the 18 tests and treatments studied represent a small portion of the nearly 450 Choosing Wisely recommendations.
MedScape: Safe Way to Save $164 Million a Year in Breast Cancer (subscription required)
This story focuses on a recent study from the Journal of Oncology Practice, which found that more than half of women with early-stage breast cancer received more radiation therapy than evidence required. The researchers estimated that scaling back treatments could save $164 million. The Medscape story noted the American Society of Radiation Oncology’s Choosing Wisely recommendation that clinicians consider use of shorter treatment regimens for women aged 50 years and older with early-stage invasive cancer.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Better, less expensive health care requires that we reframe the debate
This column by Beth Bortz, the president and CEO of Virginia Center for Health Innovation, addresses the potential to reduce health care spending by focusing on evidence-based medicine and medical society recommendations through the Choosing Wisely campaign. She discusses how the Virginia Center for Health Innovation examined the use of 45 potentially unnecessary tests and outlines how Virginia physicians are promoting better conversations with patients and better systems to flag specific circumstances where a test or procedure may not be warranted.