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Consumer group urges hospitals to end mass screenings

USA Today, June 20, 2014

A consumer group called on hospitals across the USA to stop "fear mongering" by marketing health screenings directly to patients. Public Citizen says the low-cost tests — advertised for what appear to be "bargain basement" prices — often lead to expensive and even risky follow-up exams. Although advanced medical tests can help carefully selected patients, selling them to the general public is more likely to harm than help people, says Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. In letters sent Thursday, Public Citizen called on 20 hospitals and health systems to stop sponsoring screenings by HealthFair, based in Winter Park, Fla., which offers tests in specially equipped medical vans.