December 14, 2011
Washington, DC – The American College of Cardiology (ACC) announced today that it has joined the ABIM Foundation and eight other leading national medical specialty societies in Choosing Wisely. The goal of this campaign is to help physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders think and talk about overuse or misuse of health care resources in the United States.
Consumer Reports, the nation’s leading expert, independent, nonprofit consumer organization, has also joined the campaign to provide resources for consumers and physicians to engage in these important conversations.
The campaign is part of the ABIM Foundation’s goal of promoting wise choices by clinicians in order to improve health care outcomes, provide patient-centered care that avoids unnecessary and even harmful interventions, and reduce the rapidly-expanding costs of the health care system.
As part of the campaign, the ACC will develop a list of five common tests or procedures in cardiology whose necessity patients and physicians should question and discuss. The resulting lists will be released in April 2012 and aim to spark discussion about the need – or lack thereof – for many frequently ordered tests or treatments in America.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that up to 30 percent of care delivered in America goes toward unnecessary tests, procedures, doctor visits, hospital stays and other services that may not improve people’s health – and in fact may actually cause harm. If current trends remain unchanged, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services project U.S. health care spending will reach $4.3 trillion and account for 19.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2019.
“With the medications, devices and imaging technology available to cardiologists today, we can save and improve the lives of patients who would not have had a chance just 15 years ago,” said ACC President David Holmes, Jr., MD, FACC. “We have a responsibility to use these powerful tools effectively. We are pleased to join with our partners in the Choosing Wisely campaign to encourage open communication about the risks, costs and benefits of tests and treatments so that our patients can be informed partners in important decisions about their care.”
Joining ACC and ABIM Foundation in Choosing Wisely are
• American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
• American Academy of Family Physicians
• American College of Physicians
• American College of Radiology
• American Gastroenterological Association
• American Society of Clinical Oncology
• American Society of Nephrology
• American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
• Consumer Reports
First announced in March 2011, Choosing Wisely is part of a multi-year effort led by the ABIM Foundation to support and engage physicians in being better stewards of finite health care resources. Participating specialty societies will work with the ABIM Foundation to share the lists widely with their members and convene discussions about the physician’s role in making wise choices.
To learn more about Choosing Wisely, visit www.ChoosingWisely.org.
About the American College of Cardiology
The American College of Cardiology is transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health through continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, payment innovation and professionalism. The College is a 39,000-member nonprofit medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet its stringent qualifications. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines, and is a staunch supporter of cardiovascular research. The ACC provides professional education and operates national registries for the measurement and improvement of quality care. More information about the association is available online at www.cardiosource.org/ACC.
About the ABIM Foundation
The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system. We achieve this by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policy makers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, connect with us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.