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Mass. report cites unnecessary tests

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In a report,  the MassachusettsHealth Policy Commission criticized  physicians and hospital systems it said routinely overused  (lucrative) medical testing. Such tests play a major role in healthcare price inflation.

The report’s writers used insurance-claims data and information collected by the Center for Health Information and Analysis to study healthcare spending trends.

The report defined unrecommended  care as  tests and procedures beyond a patient’s needs.

Physicians at Boston-based Partners HealthCare, Boston-based Steward Health Care System and Burlington-based Lahey Health, among others, were found to “regularly order unnecessary tests and procedures.”

Providers in the report that had the  the lowest rates of unnecessary care were BostonMedicalCenter and the physician group affiliated with Cambridge, Mass.-based Mount Auburn Hospital and Cambridge Health Alliance.


“Screenings, surgeries and lab tests are all important aspects of keeping people healthy,” Partners spokesperson Rich Copp told The Boston Globe. “We’ll take a closer look at the data in this report, but decisions about medical care will always be made as part of the doctor-patient relationship.”

To read the report, please hit this link.

To read The Globe’s story on this, please hit this link.

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