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View Diary: Don't let this happen to you. (73 comments)

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  •  I am a doctor - Primary Care. (0+ / 0-)

    In my part of Northern NJ the cardiologists trend towards over testing.  Everyone who walks through the door gets an echo, a stress test, then a nuclear stress test.

    This includes pretty healthy young people who got a job straight out of college at a corporation where "Executive Physicals" are part of the employment package.

    So a 24 y.o. Notre Dame lacrosse player gets an EKG, a carotid artery doppler, and a lower extremity doppler looking for early coronary heart disease, stroke, and deep vein thrombosis that are so unlikely that false positives are the first ten explanations for any abnormal finding. The Quacks who do "Executive Physicals" don't care about the abnormal findings - they send the patients to their primary care doctor.

    They show up in my office needing further testing because of something that was abnormal at the "Executive Physical."

    Off they go to the cardiologist, who unflinchingly does all the billlable tests.

    It's a waste of time and a waste of resources, and a waste of money.  I don't doubt it sours their sense of urgency when I call them with a 65 year old with chest tightness who I want seen A.S.A.P.

    If you were the type of person to view things in the 1% vs. 99% template, it wouldn't be hard to wonder about whether they notice that Medicare doesn't reimburse them as well as the private insurances to do unnecessary tests on these young "Executives."

    If they're attentive enough to the business dealings, they realize that they're keeping the lights on and paying the salaries of their staff with the stupid stuff so they can do the right thing on Medicare patients who actually need the tests.

    That said, I find my cardiologists will see patients the same day when needed and with electronic medical records I often get results immediately.

    The system is improving, but it has lots of room for still more improvement.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:17:54 PM PST

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