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Doctors overlook lucrative procedures when naming unwise treatments

Kaiser Health News / The Chicago Tribune, April 15, 2014
When America's joint surgeons were challenged to come up with a list of unnecessary procedures in their field, their selections shared one thing: none significantly impacted their incomes. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons discouraged patients with joint pain from taking two types of dietary supplements, wearing custom shoe inserts or overusing wrist splints after carpal tunnel surgery. The surgeons also condemned an infrequently performed procedure where doctors wash a pained knee joint with saline. The medical profession has historically been reluctant to condemn unwarranted but often lucrative tests and treatments that can rack up costs to patients but not improve their health and can sometimes hurt them.