Lowering the Costs of Unneeded Medical Testing and Treatments

Lowering the Costs of Unneeded Medical Testing and Treatments

Healthcare spending is too outrageous in the United States because of all the unnecessary medical testing and treatments given to patients. It resulted in about $765 billion in wasted medical expenses paid in 2018. Not even inflation can keep up with the tragic rising healthcare costs in this country.

Patients and employers are both suffering from these high healthcare costs. It is one of the reasons why employers don’t want to offer healthcare benefits to employees anymore. All the unneeded medical testing and treatments are causing more harm to people’s lives than good.

For this reason, primary care doctors need to do a better job of guiding patients on their health. They need to present evidence to their patients about the current state of their health and then offer various testing or treatment options necessary to learn more about the problem.

All unnecessary or duplicative testing and procedures must be eliminated. In many cases, doctors will give the same tests or treatments to their patients, which won’t do anything to help them. In fact, some of these tests and treatments work counterproductively by causing more harm than good for the patient. That only adds more costs to their healthcare.

Value-based Care Model

Primary Medical Care Center runs a value-based care model where we eliminate unnecessary testing and medical procedures. Since the value-based care model focuses on curing patients quickly, we can eliminate harmful and impractical testing and procedures to serve our patients better.

Unnecessary testing is expensive and potentially harmful to patients. It might seem surprising that something as simple as a blood test could be risky to a patient’s health. But the truth is that risk is involved with every medical procedure, no matter how small or mediocre it may seem.

In some cases, the risk may be severe anxiety or panic attacks over the anticipation of the test results. Perhaps patients will stress themselves out waiting for the results, only to find that their health is fine. That is why unnecessary testing can put an emotional burden on someone’s health and wellness.

At the very least, the primary care doctor should talk with patients about the risks and benefits of various testing options. Doctors should never pressure patients into taking risky tests because that will cause them too much anxiety. It is best for doctors to leave the decision-making to the patients after the risks and benefits of each test are explained.

For example, let’s say you’re a primary care physician treating a senior patient around 80 years old. The patient is concerned about their prostate, so they request to have a prostate-specific antigen test to determine whether they have prostate cancer.

You already know the antigen test won’t change the patient’s life expectancy either way. But if the test shows they have a high level of prostate-specific antigen, the patient will need a biopsy from an oncologist. The potential side effects of a biopsy include pain, bleeding, and infection. And, of course, the patient will be filled with anxiety and worry until they get the biopsy results.

In this scenario, the senior patient has to go through a physically risky biopsy procedure and then worry about whether they have cancer until the results come. On top of that, they have to pay a lot of money for the biopsy, which may or may not show they have cancer.

The big problem is how primary care doctors always refer their patients to other specialists for additional costly testing and procedures. Most primary care doctors are well-equipped to determine if someone has cancer by simply observing the signs and symptoms of a patient. But since primary care doctors are never 100% confident when diagnosing patients, they always send them to another specialist for a second diagnosis. That way, the primary care doctors cannot get blamed if their diagnosis is wrong.

The Solution

Of course, primary care doctors are not supposed to specialize in every area of medicine, even though the primary care field is rather broad. But what if there was a medical facility where primary care doctors and specialists worked together under one roof?

Primary Medical Care Center never needs a second opinion from third-party specialists because our team consists of primary care doctors and specialists. These medical professionals collaborate to help our patients improve their health and wellness. The best part is that patients don’t get referred to an outside facility, where they would have to bear additional costs. Instead, they save money by getting treated at the same facility.

Some of the specialists at Primary Medical Care Center include cardiology, massage therapy, primary care doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists, behavioral specialists, dentists, nurses, diagnostic specialists, and acupuncturists. What other senior medical facility in South Florida offers such a wide range of affordable medical services in one place?

Since the primary care doctors and specialists work together, they can eliminate the need for overtesting by sharing information and consulting as a team. If more facilities could do the same thing, perhaps there wouldn’t be so many wasted medical expenses each year.

Find Out More Information

Would you like to visit a primary care doctor or specialist at Primary Medical Care Center? Contact us at (305) 751-1500 to make an appointment.