The American College of Physicians announced plans to craft evidence-based recommendations in an effort to eliminate wasteful medical treatments and improve quality of care.
The recommendations are a component of the ACP's High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care initiative, which “will assess benefits, harms and costs of diagnostic tests and treatments for various diseases to determine whether they provide good value—medical benefits that are commensurate with their costs and outweigh any harms,” according to an ACP statement.
The trade group represents 129,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists and medical students.
“Physicians and patients need evidence-based information so they can make the right decision about the right treatment at the right time,” said ACP President Joseph Stubbs in a written statement. “High-value, cost-conscious care is about eliminating overused and misused medical treatments that do not improve patient health or might even be harmful.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 5% of the nation's gross domestic product—$700 billion per year—is spent on tests and procedures that do not actually improve health outcomes, the ACP contended in a 2009 policy paper. The ACP concluded that savings could be achieved by reducing inappropriate utilization of services and by encouraging clinically effective care based on comparative effectiveness research.
The ACP's recommendations will be submitted for review and consideration for publication in the Annals of Internal Medicine.