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Choosing Wisely Tips Should Prompt Doc-Patient Discussion

Recommendations can form a starting point for conversations about cost, appropriate testing

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Choosing Wisely recommendations can form a starting point for discussing cost and appropriate use of testing with patients, according to an article from the American Medical Association (AMA).

Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., president of the AMA, discusses the physician-led Choosing Wisely initiative, in which more than 60 national medical specialty societies have identified five commonly used tests or procedures in their fields that should be queried or discussed.

The article notes that, in a panel about health care quality, John Gordon Harold, M.D., of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation board of trustees, explained that the initiative represents a paradigm shift in conversations with patients about cost and appropriateness of testing. More than 100 of the Choosing Wisely recommendations have been embedded into the electronic health record system in Harold's practice, and physicians are reminded about medical care they should question. A physician must enter an explanation for overriding the recommendation.

"I highly recommend that you take advantage of what this initiative has produced. It's intuitive, logical, and empowering," Hoven writes. "Most importantly, it can help us eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures that contribute to spiraling health care costs and make sure our patients are receiving only the care that's best for them."

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