Keep docs within treatment guidelines to cut costs, reduce overuse

Hospitals across the country can cut costs and standardize care by asking their doctors to stick to guidelines and not deviate from best practices, which can lead to overuse of tests, procedures and medications, the Wall Street Journal reported. Hospitals combat overuse and overspending through education, training and even changing computer input systems to make it harder to avoid guideline recommendations. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center reduced the use of a blood test that detects symptoms of a heart attack more than 50 percent, which saved more than $1 million in charges for the tests, according to the article. However, Marc Larochelle, a physician who helped lead the overhaul, said doctors were initially resistant because they feel it's not their place to think about cost. Larochelle said procedural changes should come from doctors rather than "nonmedical folks" that push down changes from above. Article

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