Thursday, February 19, 2009
Cardiologists Do Too Much
My laziness in blogging today is your win as I refer you over to Dr. Rich's Covert Rationing blog.
Dr. Rich writes a provocative piece on Cardiologists and their propensity to perform cardiac caths and place stents in patients...despite the evidence that stenting blocked coronary arteries does not prevent heart attack or prolong life.
Drug eluding (coated) stents cost from $15,000 to $30,000 to place and the data shows that medication (cholesterol lowering drugs and aspirin) are equally effective in patients who have stable blocked arteries and chest pain. So why are 70% of these patients treated with stents? Read Dr. Rich's blog for an eyeopener. It gets better as you read longer and see what patients erroneously expect the stent will do for them.
You can't blame the cardiologists...they are only responding to perverse incentives that pay them handsomely for doing more and more.
It's the American Way.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 10:51 PM