42 Percent Of Medicare Patients Subjected To Unnecessary Treatments

Posted On : October 6, 2014,   Time : 10:34 pm

A new study published by the American Medical Association’s journal on internal medicine concluded that 42 percent of Medicare patients have been subjected to some medical procedure or treatment that conferred little benefit to their health, the Newsmax website has reported.

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The study focused on 2009 Medicare data, honing in on 26 procedures that may be overused, including spinal fusion surgeries, the insertion of cardiac stents and MRI exams for patients complaining of back pain.

“There is no reason to think these patterns have not persisted (or) worsened” over time, Dr. J. Michael McWilliams of Harvard Medical School, senior author of the paper, wrote in the study. “Imaging for back pain has actually increased.” He added that the procedures being studied were “just the tip of the iceberg.”

Altogether, researchers concluded that the data they studied means Medicare may be wasting as much as $8.5 billion a year on unnecessary treatments. They may also be exposing patients to unnecessary risk and dangers as a result.

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Read the Newsmax article here.

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