"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Unnecessary Medical Procedures

The other day, I read an article about the various medical groups releasing a list of tests and procedures that patients don't need yet are routinely performed by physicians.  The article is very timely as we have been identifying such practices at WMHS and asking our physicians why such a test or procedure is necessary.  If your respective physician board says that a certain procedure isn't necessary, then why are you doing it?  As our Chief Medical Officer says, "I have been trained as a medical oncologist, so teach me doctor as to why you need to practice differently in your area of specialty.”  The article said that ordering such tests is wasteful due to the cost and can be dangerous for the patient.  Such practices are also fraudulent.  For example, if you order a specific test on every patient before you take them to surgery whether they need it or not and bill Medicare, you are committing a crime.  That is frowned upon by the payors, especially Medicare, and will get both the physician and the hospital in trouble.  Most physicians get it by understanding the importance of not putting their patient, the hospital and themselves at risk.  We will continue to work on the others. 

I am officially on vacation so my blogs for next week may be sporadic during the week.  However, there are two milestones next week that I will blog about for certain.

Have a blessed Easter and Passover!

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