The Choosing Wisely® Conversation Continues

With cardiovascular disease remaining the nation's deadliest and most expensive diseases, the ACC is a staunch supporter of initiatives that aim to improve outcomes and lower skyrocketing health care costs. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation's Choosing Wisely® Campaign is a groundbreaking initiative that addresses unnecessary tests and procedures by promoting conversations between physicians and patients about what care is appropriate for their condition.

The following societies are also participating in Choosing Wisely and have cardiovascular-related recommendations for patients:
  • American College of Radiology
  • American Society of Echocardiography
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
  • Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imagining
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • In April 2012, the College joined eight other medical specialty societies in releasing specialty-specific lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" based on current evidence about management and treatment options. ACC's early involvement in the initiative helped pave the way for an additional 17 societies to unveil lists on Feb. 21 as part of Phase II of the Campaign. 

    According to the ABIM Foundation, Choosing Wisely is a concrete response to the ongoing public debate about whether doctors are overtreating patients with too many scans, tests and procedures. That pushes up costs by at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine, and can also reveal false positives. That in turn prompts further unnecessary testing and treatment, which can be harmful. "When it comes to health care, more is not necessarily better," said ABIM Foundation President Christine Cassel. "Through these lists of tests and procedures, we hope to encourage conversations between physicians and patients about what care they truly need."

    Meanwhile, the ACC is currently working with the ABIM Foundation and Drexel to develop an online education module to help teach physicians and other care providers how best to communicate with patients around the five recommendations. The module, which will provide CME credit, will be available in the coming months, as will Consumer Reports-developed fact sheets designed specifically for patients.

    Keywords: Tomography, Cardiovascular Diseases, Health Care Costs, Internal Medicine, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division, United States, Echocardiography, Nuclear Medicine

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