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Specialty Societies to Release New Lists of Unnecessary Medical Tests or Treatments

More than 30 new lists to be issued through March 2014 (August 14)

In late 2013 and early 2014, leading medical specialty societies will release more than 30 new lists of specific tests or procedures they say are commonly ordered but not always necessary and could cause harm, according to an announcement from the Philadelphia-based ABIM Foundation.

The new lists continue the foundation’s “Choosing Wisely” campaign, which brings together national physician groups to develop evidence-based lists of five tests and procedures that may be overused in their specific field. First launched in April 2012, this marks the third wave of lists released as part of the “Choosing Wisely” effort. The new lists will build on a library of more than 130 tests and procedures that have been identified as potentially harmful and that should be discussed by patients and physicians.

“When the ‘Choosing Wisely’ campaign was launched in 2012, we were at the threshold of a national dialogue on waste and overuse in our health care system,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “Thanks to the leadership of physician groups and consumer partners, the campaign has inspired conversations about what care is truly necessary in doctors’ offices, communities, hospitals, and health systems across the country.”

The goal of the “Choosing Wisely” campaign is to spark conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary for specific conditions. Each of the lists is developed by the individual specialty societies, using the most current evidence about management and treatment options.

Participating specialty societies will release their list of recommendations beginning in early September, and releases are scheduled through March 2014.

Societies releasing lists in September include:

  • September 4: American Medical Directors Association, American College of Surgeons, and Commission on Cancer
  • September 11: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • September 12: Society of General Internal Medicine
  • September 20: American Psychiatric Association
  • September 23: American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • September 24: American Academy of Family Physicians
  • September 26: American College of Medical Toxicology and American Academy of Clinical Toxicology

Source: ABIM Foundation; August 14, 2013.

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