AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

AMA Journal of Ethics. November 2015, Volume 17, Number 11

Ethics Poll

The Cost of Medical Care

High-Value Care

A patient requests that his physician order a diagnostic test that his insurance will pay for but one that the physician believes is unnecessary. The physician explains that he does not think the patient needs the test and also explains the minimal risks of the testing procedure and of a false positive result, which would require more invasive testing. The worried patient pleads with the doctor to order it for his peace of mind. The best action for the physician to take is:
An often-quoted 2012 Institute of Medicine report estimated that 30 percent of health care costs in the US were wasteful, i.e., did not contribute to improved patient outcomes. Which of the following best expresses what you think about that estimate?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of AMA Journal of Ethics readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.