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Smart Woman: Unnecessary Medication

Several prominent doctors groups are out with their lists of ways to cut down on wasteful medical spending. But the new recommendations could affect the quality of your health care.
Doctors are being told to think twice before pulling out their prescription pads or ordering tests.

Nine medical societies released lists of treatments and tests their members should no longer automatically order. The 45 recommendations include early imaging for most back pain and no anti-biotics for mild to moderate sinus distress.

Dr. George Kikano from UH Case Medical Center said, "Based on the scientific evidence we have doing this test or giving you that anti-biotic is not going to help you get better."

The groups also recommend against repeating colonoscopies within 10 years for people at average risk and no cardiac imaging for low-risk patients.

"You're getting radiation from cat scans that your body does not need," said Dr. Kikano.

The united states spent $2.6 trillion dollars on medical costs in 2010. If doctors followed all 45 recommendations, that would probably save tens of billions of dollars.

Breast cancer patient Elana Waldman is particularly concerned about the recommendation for doctors to stop treating tumors in end-stage patients who have not responded to multiple therapies.

Waldman said, " I was stage four, I was in ICU."

She says she would not be alive if doctors didn't try two new chemo-therapies.

Waldman, "It was definitely a hail mary pass. It's like she's going to be dead in a couple of weeks anyway let's try something and it worked."

She hopes doctors don't implement the recommendations.

"You have to give people the chance to fight back," said Waldman.

The recommendations will be circulated to doctors and consumers neither the insurance industry nor the federal government was involved in process.
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