Doctor Panels Urge Fewer Medical Tests For Patients
Something smells very fishy here.
Why all of the sudden, are doctors and medical boards urging fewer medical tests? If it’s just about treating patients more efficiently, why haven’t they spoken out sooner? Reading about these doctors and medical boards urging fewer tests for patients only reminds me of Warren Buffet saying the “rich” are not taxed enough. Remember, Buffet is a huge Obama supporter. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these recommendations are only just being made now that we have Obamacare
First it was the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force saying back in 2009 that older women should be screened less frequently for mammograms, and that monthly breast self exams are not necessary.
As a 47 year old woman, I can easily remember how young woman were always told to check their breasts each month about a day after the end of their periods. In my late thirties my gynecologist recommended that I get a mammogram, as I was over 35 at the time.
Shortly after these new recommendations were made, the news came out that Theresa Heinz Kerry was diagnosed with breast cancer. And even she was shocked about the decision of the task force.
The 71-year-old wife of the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, of Massachusetts, told the Associated Press that the cost of mammography is far lower than the physical and personal tolls women ages 40 to 60 face if their cancer goes undetected early and they later have to be treated with aggressive chemotherapy.
“Chemotherapy is serious. It also costs a lot of money. It’s very painful. And it’s very destructive of people’s — most people’s — lives for a while, anyway. So why put people through that instead of just having a test that’s done, and it’s done?” Heinz told the AP during an interview this week. “So that’s why I was so upset about that decision of this panel.”
She recalled nurses in a hospital where she was receiving a magnetic resonance imaging procedure, or MRI, being “so livid” when they heard the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend last month that women start receiving mammograms at age 50, rather than the long-standing practice of 40.
“They said, ‘We’ve taken all these years to teach women to do preventive mammograms, and now look at this,’” Heinz said.
President Obama’s administration later backed off the recommendation amid criticism from many medical and women’s groups. It said the government’s policies “remain unchanged.”
My how things have changed.
More recently, the FDA yanked its approval the drug Avastin for the treatment of late stage breast cancer. Then there was that whoring organization called The American Society of Clinical Oncologists who came out and said that doctors should focus more on palliative care for late stage cancer patients rather than wasting money on them for a measly few more months of life.
Now it looks like Obama and his minions have successfully bribed these medical organizations.
In a move likely to alter treatment standards in hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide, a group of nine medical specialty boards plans to recommend on Wednesday that doctors perform 45 common tests and procedures less often, and to urge patients to question these services if they are offered. Eight other specialty boards are preparing to follow suit with additional lists of procedures their members should perform far less often.
“Overuse is one of the most serious crises in American medicine,” said Dr. Lawrence Smith, physician-in-chief at North Shore-LIJ Health System and dean of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, who was not involved in the initiative. “Many people have thought that the organizations most resistant to this idea would be the specialty organizations, so this is a very powerful message.”
The specialty groups are announcing the educational initiative called Choosing Wisely, directed at both patients and physicians, under the auspices of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and in partnership with Consumer Reports.
The list of tests and procedures they advise against includes EKGs done routinely during a physical, even when there is no sign of heart trouble, M.R.I.’s ordered whenever a patient complains of back pain, and antibiotics prescribed for mild sinusitis — all quite common.
The American College of Cardiology is urging heart specialists not to perform routine stress cardiac imaging in asymptomatic patients, and the American College of Radiology is telling radiologists not to run imaging scans on patients suffering from simple headaches. The American Gastroenterological Association is urging its physicians to prescribe the lowest doses of medication needed to control acid reflux disease.
Even oncologists are being urged to cut back on scans for patients with early stage breast and prostate cancers that are not likely to spread, and kidney disease doctors are urged not to start chronic dialysis before having a serious discussion with the patient and family.
If you can stand it, I would also check out some of the comments. Notice how the Times readers blame old people for regular doctor’s visits/treatments and how they just shrug off the matter of people wanting to closely monitoring existing any cancers.