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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,193
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

Knocking on wood, at this point  I am active and healthy.  I dance 5 times a week, keep busy, watch my diet and I feel pretty darn good.  But because of my age ( I think that is what it is) every time I enter my doctors office he orders a list of tests for everything in the book.  I have 15 minutes of his time and he spends it writing prescriptions.  Anyone out there have a similar situation.  And yes I have my sights on a new doctor but I am wondering if I am over reacting.  

Valued Contributor
Posts: 655
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

I will soon be 76 and have fibromyalgia. I see my family Dr every 6 mo. He never randomly orders tests for me and only writes new RX's if I have some new symptoms. Had a reflux problem that I took a med for a few weeks and now I'm ok. He checks my heart and lungs and I sometimes get a sinus infection ( every 2 yrs or so ) and then he will RX an antibiotic. I am not active at all as I also have chronic fatigue syndrome and have had it for 16 yrs. I have found that Drs don't randomly order tests as many insurance companies won't cover unless there is evidence that you need the test. I don't know your age group but question why your Dr orders tests if you are in good health. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,228
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

I go once per year to have labs for my thyroid. He also runs a CBC, A1C, lipid panel & sometimes CMP.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 38,496
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?


@bonnielu wrote:

Knocking on wood, at this point  I am active and healthy.  I dance 5 times a week, keep busy, watch my diet and I feel pretty darn good.  But because of my age ( I think that is what it is) every time I enter my doctors office he orders a list of tests for everything in the book.  I have 15 minutes of his time and he spends it writing prescriptions.  Anyone out there have a similar situation.  And yes I have my sights on a new doctor but I am wondering if I am over reacting.  


 

If I were you, I would not go back to this Doctor.  I have never experienced what you mention with any Doctor I have seen, and I would refuse such testing.  A yearly blood panel is the usual unless there is a specific reason for something else to be done.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,649
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

No, this is not my experience at all.  In fact, just the opposite.  I have to beg to get a test done.  I was thinking the other day -- do the doctors get a bonus from the insurance companies for keeping costs down with regard to not requesting tests???  My doctors never want to do any tests on me despite the fact that I am telling them about how poorly I am feeling or about the symptoms I am having, and also that I have so many conditions.  I will have to say - don't you think it's time I got this or that checked?  They might so, oh, I guess we could do this test or we might want to do that in a few months.  I don't know why your doctor seems to want to do so many tests all the time since you say you are in very good health.  

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,702
Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

I belong to an HMO and you only get the preventative type tests yearly for 64 and younger and every 6 mo. for 65 and older. They will of course do other testing if you are sick so they can make a diagnosis, but that's it. I find the docs want you to take more responsibility for your own health and not be running to them for every little thing.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,938
Registered: ‎12-29-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?


@AngelPuppy1 wrote:

No, this is not my experience at all.  In fact, just the opposite.  I have to beg to get a test done.  I was thinking the other day -- do the doctors get a bonus from the insurance companies for keeping costs down with regard to not requesting tests???  My doctors never want to do any tests on me despite the fact that I am telling them about how poorly I am feeling or about the symptoms I am having, and also that I have so many conditions.  I will have to say - don't you think it's time I got this or that checked?  They might so, oh, I guess we could do this test or we might want to do that in a few months.  I don't know why your doctor seems to want to do so many tests all the time since you say you are in very good health.  


 

 

I agree.  Matters have changed in the past 5 years.  Dr.s, though, are from different schools of thought.  Some over order tests, but most don't perform the tests they used to.  No, they don't get bonuses for not ordering tests.  They just know insurance companies kick back on some tests, and they don't want their patients calling and complaining about how much they were billed.

 

Dr's. don't get kick backs from pharma companies either.  If they write you a script, there is NO incentive for them to do so financially.

 

If I'm having issues, I request the tests, and I tell them I realize they may or may not be covered.

 

There are a few Dr.'s who do over order tests, but it's not for a financial reason.  IT's because they are afraid of litigation if something happens and they didn't do their due diligence.

"friends don't let friends drink white zinfandel"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,243
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

You don't say what the doctor wants for tests, so we really can't give you good advice.  I do know my doctor tests for problems that are a part of my personal and family history, but not much else ever.

 

I used to have to remind him to add diabetes testing to my blood tests - lots of that in my family-but now he's excellent about including that and checking for the dates he has on my colonoscopy tests, also a personal concern.

 

I am fairly healthy for my 74 years and I try to do my own part for health with good habits, but I want the protections of modern medicine which includes some testing as well as shot for shingles, pneumonia, and flu.   So far, so good.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,249
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?

@winamac.  Re: Kickbacks.    We were on a Caribbean cruise a few years ago with 274 physicians who were "comped" by an insurance company so I was told by one of the physicians.  

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,520
Registered: ‎03-04-2012

Re: Is this a trend... doctors and over testing?


@bonnielu wrote:

Knocking on wood, at this point  I am active and healthy.  I dance 5 times a week, keep busy, watch my diet and I feel pretty darn good.  But because of my age ( I think that is what it is) every time I enter my doctors office he orders a list of tests for everything in the book.  I have 15 minutes of his time and he spends it writing prescriptions.  Anyone out there have a similar situation.  And yes I have my sights on a new doctor but I am wondering if I am over reacting.  


My friend just told me about her mother.  Her mom is in her 80's and wants attention, so she imagines something is wrong with her, constantly.  Well, my friend took her to the doctor, the doctor told her nothing is wrong with her, but becuase she "thinks" something is wrong with her, they have to treat her.  This is why our insurance is going through the roof.  They need to tell her there is nothing wrong with her and to go home.  My friend is appauled that the doctors are continuing to "treat" her because she "thinks" she's ill.  Unbelievable!  Can you say "Money, money, money"???