More than half of U.S. adults say they’ve chosen to forgo a treatment recommended by their doctor
“The online poll of 2,286 adults indicates considerable concern among Americans about the frequency with which patients receive too many or overly aggressive treatments from their doctors: 83% feel undertreatment often or sometimes can result in medical problems among patients, while 72% feel overtreatment contributes to problems.

“But these aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive,” says Katherine Binns, senior vice president at Harris Interactive. Both concerns can exist at the same time, she says, especially in light of the large portion of uninsured Americans, who often don’t receive the health care they require.

Thirty-two percent of those polled say in the past they haven’t filled a prescription because they felt it was unnecessary, while 16% didn’t get a diagnostic test and another 10% chose not to undergo a surgical procedure.

Nearly a quarter of respondents say they’ve chosen to get a second opinion because they felt their doctors’ recommendations were too aggressive.

Physicians’ concerns about malpractice (53%), their desire to earn more (45%), and their desire to meet patients’ demands (45%) are seen as the main causes of unnecessary care, according to the poll. Another 30% feel misleading information doctors receive from drug and medical-device companies contributes to overly aggressive treatments.” (via Medrants)

Completely agree – overtesting is a huge problem. How can this change? Well, one can start by reforming some of the drivers for overtesting mentioned above: the fear of malpractice (defensive medicine) and “earning more” (fee for service reimbursement).

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