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Medical News & Perspectives
May 27, 2009

New Tools Assess Need for Cardiac Tests

JAMA. 2009;301(20):2084. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.711

Orlando, Fla—The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is introducing tools to help physicians determine the appropriateness of diagnostic and treatment strategies that minimize costs while maximizing care. The effort comes in an era when physicians are increasingly questioned by insurers who are unwilling to cover services they consider inappropriate.

“Appropriate use criteria” were introduced in 2005 to provide guidance for cardiovascular imaging testing. Because physicians were embracing such testing despite little evidence regarding how it should be used, insurers began requiring physicians to justify such studies before they would approve the testing—something many clinicians saw as a source of added cost and bureaucratic hassle.

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