Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine (Dr Arora), Pritzker School of Medicine (Mss Schaefer and Goetz), and Internal Medicine Residency Program (Drs Matus and Arora), University of Chicago, Illinois.
Inappropriate and redundant ordering of laboratory tests is a well-known driver of high medical costs.1 The article titled “Surgical Vampires and Rising Health Care Expenditure” by Stuebing and Miner2 highlights the fact that physicians are unaware of the costs of these laboratory tests and unaware of the need for greater price transparency. Moreover, after reporting laboratory charges to surgical teams, Stuebing and Miner2 found that expenditures were reduced by almost a third, resulting in $54 967 in savings in 11 weeks. In addition to the overuse of laboratory tests, imaging is another major contributor to wasteful hospital expenditures.3
Schaefer GR, Matus HL, Goetz C, Arora VM. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Monsters and Surgical Vampires. Arch Surg. 2011;146(11):1333–1334. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.284