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Patients Getting Needless Heart Test

Nov 6th 2013 at 9:00 AM

Many patients get affection tests alleged echocardiograms unnecessarily, according to advisers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.Echocardiograms — noninvasive ultrasound tests that acknowledge how able-bodied the affection is activity — are safe, but best patients who get them see no change in treatment. Therefore, they are not clinically useful, the advisers said.“The majority of echocardiograms are adapted in agreement of accepted guidelines,” said advance researcher Dr. Susan Matulevicius, an abettor assistant in the medical center’s cardiology division. “But no one has looked at what an answer does to change a patient’s management.“If we accumulate application echoes all the time aloof because we can and we are not activity to be accomplishing article with that information, you are aloof application bloom affliction dollars that could accept been acclimated for addition else,” Matulevicius said.However, not all affection experts accede with her conclusions, which were appear online July 22 in the annual JAMA Internal Medicine.Echocardiograms amount amid $100 and $1,000 depending on area in the United States they are done, and they annual for about bisected of all cardiac-imaging casework performed in the country, according to the study. In 2010, echocardiograms accounted for added than $1.1 billion — 11 percent — of absolute Medicare imaging costs, the advisers said.Millions of dollars could be adored anniversary year if alone patients who bare the analysis got it, Matulevicius said.For the study, the advisers advised abstracts on 535 patients who underwent echocardiograms at UT Southwestern Medical Center in April 2011. They begin that alone one in three tests resulted in a change in the patient’s care.Nearly bisected resulted in assiduity of the patient’s accepted care, the abstraction found.The allegation advance “there are limitations to the accepted guidelines,” Matulevicius said.Echocardiograms are adapted for abounding patients, such as those with affection failure, she said. However, abounding patients get the analysis because it is broadly accessible and their doctor wants it done as a amount of course.

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