Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ConsumerReports.org - Medical ripoffs, overspending on overtreatment

ConsumerReports.org - Medical ripoffs, overspending on overtreatment: "Do more, make more . Paul DeLeeuw, M.D., whose whole-body CT scan led to many follow-up tests but no diagnosis of serious disease. Photo by Roark Johnson When it comes to health care, more is not necessarily better. But more is what patients tend to get. While America's health system has achieved important gains against major diseases, it has also encouraged the overuse of costly treatments. The system pays the vast majority of doctors and hospitals on a piecework basis called 'fee for service.' The more services they provide--a blood test, surgery, an MRI or CT scan--the more money they make. Experts estimate that the nation's $2 trillion annual health-care tab is one-third to one-half higher than need be, in part because of overuse of costly treatments and unnecessary care."

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