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Researchers find that diagnostic tests are "frequently" repeated among Medicare patients, affecting a physicians ability to curb healthcare costs and care for additional patients.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Researchers investigating the frequency of repeat testing among Medicare patients were surprised by their own findings, reporting high rates of redundancy in certain diagnostic tests.

"We examined repetitive testing for 6 commonly performed diagnostic tests in which repeat testing is not routinely anticipated," the authors wrote. "Although we expected a certain fraction of examinations to be repeated, we were struck by the magnitude of that fraction: ⅓ to ½ of these tests are repeated within a 3-year period.

"This finding raises the question whether some physicians are routinely repeating diagnostic tests," the authors added.

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