Take Control of Your Health choosing Wisely - Avoid Unnecessary Tests

When your doctor recommends a drug, treatment or test, be sure to ask if it's appropriate for you. To help guide your discussion with your doctor, we've included a list of articles below from "Consumer Reports" and other patient friendly groups.

  • Allergy Tests
  • Allergy Tests

    07/24/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you do not have symptoms or a medical evaluation that points to an allergy, you should think twice about skin or blood testing for allergies.
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  • Alzheimer's Disease Testing
  • Alzheimer's Disease Testing

    03/28/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    When you need a brain scan and when you don't
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  • Asking Questions About Imaging Tests
  • Asking Questions About Imaging Tests

    05/10/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    X-rays, CT scans, and MRI's are called imaging tests because they take pictures, or images, of the inside of your body.

    They are used to guide diagnosis and treatment of many different medical conditions. But some uses of these tests have been identified by medical societies participating in the Choosing Wisely campaign as ones that you should question if they are offered, because sometimes they are not needed.
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  • Asking Questions About Medical Tests
  • Asking Questions About Medical Tests

    05/10/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    Even doctors say that sometimes the tests they order may not be necessary. The consequences? Sometimes the tests carry risks of their own. An inaccurate result may lead to even more testing. And of course, your time and money could have been spent on something more useful.

    How can you protect yourself from that? What sorts of questions should you ask when your doctor orders a test?
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  • Bone-Density Tests
  • Bone-Density Tests

    08/19/2016
    From: Consumer Reports
    It's worth getting a bone density test if you're older or have other risk factors for weak bones, because without it the first sign of osteoporosis is usually a broken bone. But if you're not at higher risk, you should think twice about the test. Here's why.
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  • Breast Biopsy
  • Breast Biopsy

    03/01/2014
    From: American Board of Internal Medicine
    A breast biopsy is a test of breast tissue to see if you have cancer. Usually, you get a biopsy if there is a suspicious change in your breast. Your doctor may find the change in a physical exam, mammogram, or ultrasound test.
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  • Cardiac Imaging
  • Cardiac Imaging

    10/01/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you have chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease, a test that stresses your heart can be lifesaving and help guide treatment. In some cases, especially in healthy people without chest pain, you should be cautious about the tests. Here’s why.
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  • Chest X-Ray Costs
  • Chest X-Ray Costs

    10/03/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    You can use the Blue Book as a guide to help you compare prices when you shop for care and to make sure that you receive treatment at a fair price.
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  • Chest X-rays
  • Chest X-rays

    08/19/2016
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you're scheduled for surgery, a pre-operative chest X-ray can sometimes help make it safer by identifying medical problems that might make it a good idea to delay or even cancel the procedure. But if you don't have signs or symptoms of heart or lung disease, you should think twice about having the X-ray.
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  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) Costs
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) Costs

    10/03/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    You can use the Blue Book as a guide to help you compare prices when you shop for care and to make sure that you receive treatment at a fair price.
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  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Costs
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Costs

    10/03/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    You can use the Blue Book as a guide to help you compare prices when you shop for care and to make sure that you receive treatment at a fair price.
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  • Drugs to Prevent Infection During Chemotherapy
  • Drugs to Prevent Infection During Chemotherapy

    03/28/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    CSFs are drugs that help prevent infection during chemotherapy. They increase the number of white cells in your blood. When do you need them? When don't you need them?
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  • Echocardiogram Before Surgery
  • Echocardiogram Before Surgery

    05/19/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you're having surgery, you may wonder if you need an echocardiogram first. Some people have this test to make sure it is safe for them to have surgery. 
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  • Echocardiograms for Valve Disease
  • Echocardiograms for Valve Disease

    03/28/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    If your heart valve disease is mild, and it is not causing any symptoms, you probably don't need to have the echocardiogram test every year.
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  • Echocardiography After Valve Surgery
  • Echocardiography After Valve Surgery

    07/13/2013
    From: American Board of Internal Medicine
    If you have surgery to replace a damaged heart valve, you might be given an imaging test called an echocardiogram. This test can show if the new valve is working well. Sometimes the test is done very soon after surgery, while you are still in the hospital. Usually that's not useful. Here's why.
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  • EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests
  • EKGs and Exercise Stress Tests

    08/19/2016
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you have chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease, an electrocardiogram (EKG) or exercise stress test can be lifesaving. The same is true if you have a history of heart disease or are at very high risk for it. But in other cases, you should think twice. Here's why.
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  • EKGs and exercise stress tests Video
  • EKGs and exercise stress tests Video

    07/09/2012
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you have heart disease or are at risk for it, an EKG or exercise stress test can be lifesaving. But in other cases, the tests are usually not a good idea. 
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  • Fetal Ultrasound Costs
  • Fetal Ultrasound Costs

    02/11/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    You can use the Blue Book as a guide to help you compare prices when you shop for care and to make sure that you receive treatment at a fair price.
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  • Heart Imaging Before Surgery
  • Heart Imaging Before Surgery

    03/28/2013
    From: Consumer Reports
    If you are having surgery, you may wonder if you need a heart imaging test first to make sure it is safe. But if you are not having heart surgery - and you have not had a stroke and don't have a severe heart condition, diabetes, or kidney disease - the imaging tests usually are not helpful.
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  • Heart Stress Tests Before Surgery
  • Heart Stress Tests Before Surgery

    08/19/2016
    From: American Board of Internal Medicine
    If you're having surgery, you may wonder if you need a heart stress test to make sure that it is safe for you to have surgery. You will probably not need the test if you are healthy, active, and feeling well, or if you’re having minor surgery.

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