'Choose Wisely' to Shrink Healthcare Costs

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , March 27, 2013

In the next two months, Vinz says, the Choosing Wisely campaign with the help of the medical societies will identify and focus on five medical tests or interventions that are not value-driven or are not recommended in most cases.

"We will be focusing on those initially and identifying how we can educate employers, consumers, and care providers that these are unnecessary," she says. "As we do that and talk to consumers and employers about these things we will learn lessons about how to take on another five or 10 or 20 tests or interventions because there are hundreds of them."

Vinz acknowledges that the Choose Wisely movement will have a hard time changing the ingrained expectations of healthcare consumers but she is also optimistic.

"Patients want what they want when they want it but they don't want unnecessary care," she says. "They don't want things that put them at risk because sometimes these tests can cause harm or send you down a path that isn't helpful. We have to help to educate them about being a partner in their health, working with their providers and employers in shared decision making."

Vinz believes that Choosing Wisely will "get the conversation started."

"It has to start somewhere," she says. "United States citizens have to start to learn that more isn't always better and expecting more isn't always going to be helpful and safe for you."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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