Excessive ancillary testing by healthcare providers pervades clinical practice and is a major cause of mounting healthcare costs. The principal reasons include ubiquitous practice of defensive medicine, widespread usage of inappropriate and obsolete tests, technological advances, patient expectations and demands, and financial rewards for providers. Effective solutions would help lessen the testing-related healthcare cost burden by enhancing awareness of the problem, educating present and future generations of healthcare providers to be costconscious, instituting malpractice liability reform, monitoring test utilization, and focusing on patient education with a shared decision-making model in disease management.
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