New effort by MDs to cut wasteful medical spending
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nine medical societies say more is not better when it comes to certain medical tests and treatments.
The societies representing nearly 375,000 physicians will release lists Wednesday of tests and treatments their members should no longer automatically order.
They include most repeat colonoscopies within 10 years of a first such test, early imaging for most back pain, brain scans for patients who fainted but didn't have seizures, and antibiotics for mild- to-moderate sinus distress.
Also on the list: heart imaging stress tests for patients without coronary symptoms. And a particularly sobering recommendation calls for cancer doctors to stop treating tumors in end-stage patients who have not responded to multiple therapies and are ineligible for experimental treatments.
It's unclear how much money would be saved if doctors followed the 45 recommendations rigorously. The nation's medical bill hit $2.6 trillion in 2010.