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Unsustainable rising health care costs in the United States have
made reducing costs while maintaining high-quality health care a
national priority. The overuse of some screening and diagnostic
tests is an important component of unnecessary health care costs.
More judicious use of such tests will improve quality and reflect
responsible awareness of costs. Efforts to control expenditures
should focus not only on benefits, harms, and costs but on the
value of diagnostic tests-meaning an assessment of whether a test
provides health benefits that are worth its costs or harms. To
begin to identify ways that practicing clinicians can contribute to
the delivery of high-value, cost-conscious health care, the
American College of Physicians convened a workgroup of physicians
to identify, using a consensus-based process, common clinical
situations in which screening and diagnostic tests are used in ways
that do not reflect high-value care. The intent of this exercise is
to promote thoughtful discussions about these tests and other
health care interventions to promote high-value, cost-conscious
full article on annals.org
January 2012 Issue of IMpact
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