New study by the Dartmouth Atlas Project finds that, in the states of northern New England at least, where a child lives influences the kind of care that child receives. And some of the differences are dramatic and contributing to the widespread problem of medical overtreatment.
For this investigation, we pored over reams of research, consulted medical experts, surveyed more than 10,000 readers, and talked with patients. We found that too many people are getting tests they don’t need or understand, and too few are getting those that could save their lives. Many patients, and even some doctors, can be confused by cancer screening.
Screenings for several forms of cancer, such as of the prostate and ovaries, get low marks in our new Ratings of cancer screening tests, because their risks clearly outweigh the benefits for most people. But the decision whether to get a mammogram to check for breast cancer is especially complex, as illustrated in three recent reports in the British Medical Journal.
We are thrilled to co-sponsor and attend the upcoming Selling Sickness conference in Washington DC, co-organized by long-time drug safety advocate Kim Witczak.
Kai Falkenberg for Forbes: “Many doctors, in order to get high ratings (and a higher salary), overprescribe and overtest, just to “satisfy” patients, who probably aren’t qualified to judge their care. And there’s a financial cost, as flawed survey methods and the decisions they induce, produce billions more in waste.”