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Many Unnecessary Surgeries Performed Every Year

06/20/13

  05:14:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 250 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Many Unnecessary Surgeries Performed Every Year

Every year thousands of patients undergo surgery they don’t need, according to the findings of a USA Today investigation. In some specialities, unnecessary surgeries might account for 10% to 20% of all operations.

Six of the most common unnecessary surgeries, based on medical research and government databases:

  1. Cardiac pacemakers: Multiple studies found no evidence to support their installation in about 1 in 5 patients.
  2. Back surgery, spinal fusion: “Since the 1980s, operations for low-back pain have increased from about 190,000 to more than 300,000 per year,” Consumer Reports noted in 2005. “Many of those operations are probably unnecessary.”
  3. Hysterectomy: A 2000 study determined that the surgery was recommended inappropriately in about 70% of cases, often because doctors did not try non-surgical approaches.
  4. Knee and hip replacement: Researchers in a 2012 study found that patients who got information about joint replacements and alternative treatments had 26% fewer hip replacements and 38% fewer knee replacements.
  5. Cesarean section: A 2013 study revealed cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1% to 69.9%. Even lower-risk pregnancies varied by a factor of 15, from 2.4% to 36.5%.

MedBen helps protect against certain unneeded surgeries with comprehensive care management. This service ensures plan members receive the correct treatment for such conditions as cardiovascular disease, cancer and kidney disease.

Care management is necessary to ensure that the medical procedures a physician/provider is proposing for patient’s condition are the best options from an effectiveness and patient risk perspective, and maximize benefits under his or her health care plan. To learn more, contact MedBen Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

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