Overtreating Medicare patients may cost billions

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study suggests that in a single year, up to 42 percent of Medicare patients got at least one medical procedure they didn't need -- overtreatment that cost as much as $8 billion.

The treatments included cancer screenings beyond the age most experts recommend. They also include invasive heart and kidney procedures that research has shown are no better than medicine, and potentially more risky.

The researchers analyzed Medicare claims data for 1.3 million patients in 2009. They devised a list of 26 "low-value" procedures they determined reflect likely overuse. The list was compiled from research evidence and recommendations from several medical groups.

The results were published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.


The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 258953471 - weau.com/a?a=258953471
Gray Television, Inc.