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Department of Veterans Affairs

Reducing unnecessary radiology and lab investigations

Physicians increasingly practice medicine by ordering too many lab and radiology tests. These investigations are very expensive. An effort should be made to incentivize physicians to spend more time talking with and examining patients rather than simply ordering more tests. Therefore,

1. Physicians should have the option of a 30 minute visit instead of a 20 minute visit if medically appropriate.

2. Physicians should be given a yearly "bill" just to show them how much they have spent on tests. This "test score" should be tracked by speciality.

3. A prize/bonus should be given to those physicians who have the lowest "test score" by speciality, assuming their patients have not suffered any ill effects by fewer tests. This can be measured by metrics such as calls for pain meds, hospitalization, ER visits, etc.

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Idea No. 7946