By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doctors are taking aim at wasteful, expensive and unnecessary medical tests and procedures. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a new effort to fix the problem.

A new report says Americans are wasting 700 billion dollars every year on unnecessary medical tests.

Now medical groups are launching a new campaign, sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation based in Philadelphia, aims to get doctors and patients talking about ways to make better, cost effective decisions. But some fear it may affect the quality of your healthcare.

Doctors are being told to think twice before pulling out their prescription pads or ordering tests.

Nine medical societies released lists of treatments and tests their members should no longer automatically order.

The 45 recommendations include no early imaging for most back pain, and no antibiotics for mild to moderate sinus distress.

“Based on the scientific evidence we have, doing this test or giving you that antibiotic is not going to help you get better,” said Dr. George Kikano, a Family Medicine Specialist.

The groups also recommend against repeating colonoscopies within ten years for people at average risk, and no cardiac imaging for low risk patients.

“You’re getting radiation from cat scans that your body does not need,” said Dr. Kikano.

Breast cancer patient Elana Waldman is particularly concerned about the recommendation for doctors to stop treating tumors in end-stage patients who have no responded to multiple therapies.

“I was stage four. I was in ICU,” said Elana. She says she would not be alive if doctors didn’t try two new chemotherapies.

“It was definitely a hail mary pass. It’s like she’s going to be dead in a couple of weeks anyway let’s try something and it worked,” said Elana. She hopes doctors don’t implement the recommendations.

“You have to give people the chance to fight back,” said Elana.

The recommendations will be circulated to doctors and consumers. Neither the insurance industry nor the federal government was involved in process.


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