Treatment Overkill

KHN Conversation On Overtreatment

From duplicate blood tests to unnecessary knee replacements, millions of American undergo screenings, scans and treatments that offer little or no benefit every year. Doctors have estimated that 21 percent of medical care is unnecessary — a problem that costs the health care system at least $210 billion a year. Such “overtreatment” isn’t just expensive. It can harm patients.

Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Liz Szabo moderated a discussion with a panel of experts on overtreatment.

Our panelists were:

  • Dr. Louise Davies,  An associate professor of  otolaryngology – head and neck surgery in The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice
  • Dr. Saurabh Jha, an associate professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Barry Kramer, director of the division of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute
  • Dr. Jacqueline Kruser, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Dr. Ranit Mishori, professor of family medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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