Signs of Overtreatment: How to Avoid Unnecessary Care
One of the biggest problems of healthcare is overtreatment. In fact, the entire model of shared decision-making among doctors and patients is based on the idea of preventing overtreatment. Read on to learn a few signs to help you identify whether you’re receiving unnecessary care.
One of the primary indicators of a patient being overtreated by a doctor is the requirement to take an excessive amount of lab tests. Lab tests are highly expensive. Many healthcare professionals require these tests and their results to conclude a diagnosis among patients. However, this opportunity is easily exploited by asking patients to take 7 to 8 different tests at a time.
Most of these tests are unnecessary, imposing an additional burden on the patient and their expenses. The best way to prevent this is by questioning why one may need a specific lab test and how its results are associated with the symptoms they’re experiencing.
Referral to Another Specialist
Many doctors often refer patients to other specialists even after their treatment is completed and they’re healthy again. It’s an alarming sign of a patient being overtreated. If a doctor recommends you go to another specialist after you’re recovered, or during the middle of your current treatment, it’s crucial to ask why and how it’ll benefit you.
Going to another specialist will disrupt your existing treatment and will make you pay a higher price to treat your condition, which you initially didn’t sign up for. Remember to conduct research on the specialist your doctor refers you to and inquire about how they can help you manage your condition.
Lastly, one of the most significant signs of being overtreated is unnecessary medical care and hospitalization. Medical care is a major contributor to rising healthcare costs. Therefore, its patients must stay vigilant and see if their condition can be monitored and treated at home easily.
If you’re being asked to be hospitalized, remember to ask about the treatment you’re receiving and how it’ll help your health in the long term.
Struggling to participate in the decision-making process of your medical intervention? Let us help you. At the Center for Interpreting Health Benefits and Risks (IHBR), we offer a wide range of services to meet the objective of promoting shared decision-making among patients and doctors in healthcare systems through our books and publications. You can now visit our website to access our online medical books and doctor training books related to improved patient-doctor communication, risk communication during COVID-19, and more. Feel free to visit our website or contact us to learn more today!
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