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Chicago AHCJ Chapter: Overtesting and overtreatment in American medicine

05/12/14     Chicago, IL

AHCJ Chapter event

With enrollment in Affordable Care Act insurance plans now at 8 million and another 4.8 million signing up for Medicaid or CHIP, a new group of patients will be facing hard conversations with physicians and others about what care they should be receiving.

From heated debates over preventive screenings such as mammograms or prostate cancer testing to wasteful use of high-cost imaging or emergency care, the pressure will be on to rein in unnecessary, redundant or ineffective care that's been estimated to gobble between 20 percent to 40 percent of U.S. health spending. This will especially be the case because cost control is key to ensuring that the bill for Obamacare is, in fact, affordable.

Our panel discussion will examine one widely touted effort targeting overtesting and overtreatment, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation's Choosing Wisely initiative. So far, more than 50 medical societies have offered up more than 200 tests, treatments and other interventions that "physicians and patients should question." We'll look at how well the project is going, what kind of results it's getting, and whether this can indeed be a game-changer in reining in wasteful health care spending. We'll also discuss the role that Obamacare experiments such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes may play in slashing unneeded tests and treatments.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Holly J. Humphrey is the dean for medical education at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and is vice chair ABIM Foundation's board of trustees.
  • Dr. Joel Shalowitz is the director of health industry management at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and also professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
  • Mark Newton is CEO of Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood. Swedish has received four consecutive "A" grades on patient safety from the Leapfrog Group, and is taking part in accountable care activities in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
  • Julie Deardorff is an award-winning health, medicine and fitness reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
  • Kevin B. O'Reilly (moderator), senior editor, CAP TODAY, published the College of American Pathologists, and member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Time: 
6 p.m., refreshments
7 p.m., program

Location: 
Columbia College Journalism Department
33 East Congress, corner of Wabash and Congress, under the L tracks
Room 219

Thanks to Columbia College for the venue!