Medical Specialties Develop List of Unnecessary Procedures
The American Board of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, and seven other specialty societies are joining to participate in the Choosing Wisely Initiative, an effort to decrease unnecessary health care spending and improve the quality of patient care. More specifically, the initiative aims to educate physicians and patients about responsible allocation of finite health care resources.
Each specialty organization will develop a list of five potentially unnecessary tests and procedures that are costly, commonly used in their specialty, or both. Each recommendation must be supported by research, and will be revised as new evidence arises. The National Physicians Alliance piloted a similar project in 2009.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, up to 30 percent of health care involves unnecessary tests, procedures, hospital stays, and other services. In addition to driving up costs, such services may do more harm than good for patients.
An initial list of potentially “unnecessary” procedures will be available in April, and is expected to expand over time as more specialty societies become involved.
Medical specialty organizations participating in the initiative include:
- American College of Physicians
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American College of Cardiology
- American College of Radiology
- American Gastroenterological Association
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- American Society of Nephrology
- American Society of Nuclear Cardiology