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Much Ado About (Doing) Nothing

Brendan M. Reilly, MD; and Arthur T. Evans, MD, MPH
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10065, and Rush Medical College and Cook County (Stroger) Hospital, Chicago, IL 60612.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Brendan M. Reilly, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065; e-mail, brr2013@med.cornell.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Reilly: Weill Cornell Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065.

Dr. Evans: Cook County (Stroger) Hospital, 1900 West Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612.

Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(4):270-271. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-150-4-200902170-00008
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An important problem has surfaced in the wake of medical progress: “unnecessary care,” defined as a diagnostic or treatment service that provides no demonstrable benefit to a patient. Remarkably, 30% of all medical care in the United States may meet this definition (1). If so, the medically “overserved” in the United States may outnumber the underserved. Reducing the former inequity (too much care too often for some patients) could free up resources to redress the latter (too little care too late for others).

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Consensus and Convention
Posted on March 9, 2009
Mark A. LaPorta
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

"There will be no cessation of the increase in cost [risk/inconvenience] in health care until there is a social and societal consensus and convention on what constitutes reasonable and necessary care. Read: rationing."

Are we E-volving or involuting?

"Become the change you want to see in the world." -Atributed to M. Gandhi. (Also to J. Nehru)

Disraeli-Twain Statistics: "There are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics."

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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