Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center

Americans waste $200 billion every year on medical tests they don't need, experts say

Americans waste $200 billion every year on medical tests they don't need, experts say

Sutter Health, a giant hospital chain in Northern California, thought that it had found a simple solution to doctors ordering unnecessary and wasteful tests: It deleted the button physicians used to order daily blood tests.

“We took it out and couldn’t wait to see the data,” said Ann Marie Giusto, an executive at the Sacramento-based health system.

Alas, the number of orders hardly changed. That’s because the hospital’s medical-records software “has this cool ability to let you save your favorites,” Giusto said at a recent presentation to other hospital executives and physicians. “It had become a habit.”

There are plenty of opportunities to trim waste in America’s...

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