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HRA partners with Consumer Reports to Educate Health Care Consumers

HRA and Consumer Reports are collaborating to educate consumers about unnecessary medical tests and procedures. HRA is bringing health literacy and clear communication principles to the Consumer Reports “Choosing Wisely” project. The materials developed will help inform consumers’ medical decision-making. This project coincides with the recent recommendations by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and eight other medical specialty boards to reduce the use of 45 common tests, procedures, and medications. Read more in recent New Times articles: New York Times (June 3, 2012) and (April 4, 2012).

With health care costs spiraling out of control and insurance companies asking patients to pay a greater portion of bills, America may be poised to rethink its rituals. The "Choosing Wisely" project features a list of basic medical tests and procedures that are often performed but that don’t add value. The United States spends about twice as much per person as other developed countries on health care, generally without better results. A 2009 study of waste in the United States health care system pointed to “unwarranted use of medical care” — unneeded, unproven or redundant diagnosis or treatment — as the biggest single component, accounting for $250 billion to $325 billion a year.

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April 2012