Dr. Robert Colton, an internist in Boca Raton, Fla., has a problem, and he knows it. His patients come in wanting, sometimes demanding, tests and treatments that are unnecessary, just adding to the nation’s huge health care bill. He even has patients, he says, who come in and report that their chief complaint is, “I need an M.R.I.”
And what does Dr. Colton do?
“I do the damn test,” he said. “There is no incentive for me, Rob Colton, to reduce overutilization. If the person wants it, what are you going to do, say no?”
And the new health care legislation, he says, is not going to make a bit of difference.
Consider this an addendum to my post last week…. If we do not curb over-testing – over-utilization we will NOT be able to cut costs… period!
I never considered the fact that docs want to be incentivized to control this…. I thought it was a logical way to control costs and simply part of our obligation to educate patients about what tests are or are not necessary. Take a Cat Scan for instance. If a patient demands a CT… am I simply going to order it… NO. Do they understand the risks of cancer, radiation exposure, etc….
Docs… we can step up and control costs… limiting expenses to provide a better world for our children should be all the incentive you need!