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Physician Groups Identify 45 Unnecessary Tests

Each of the societies, representing both primary care doctors and specialists, picked five procedures that medical evidence shows have little or no value for certain conditions, and which they say should be questioned by patients and their doctors.

The list includes such common practices as routine electrocardiograms for patients at low risk for heart disease, and antibiotics for mild sinus infections. It is meant as a set of guidelines.

Dr. Donald Berwick, the former head of Medicare and a longtime quality researcher, called the campaign "a game changer." Part of the reason is that patients generally trust doctors more than insurers, employers or others who attempt to influence what gets covered and what doesn’t.

"This could be a turning point if it's approached with energy," Berwick says. "Here you have scientifically grounded guidance from a number of major specialty societies addressing a very important problem, which is the overuse of ineffective care."

Read the full article on Kaiser Health News.

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