Mandated Use of Unproven Screening Practices Drives up Medical Costs With Little Patient Benefit

A new Texas law that mandates insurance coverage for coronary artery calcium scanning and carotid artery ultrasound was “premature” and will have major ramifications for public health, a noted Texas cardiologist says.

In a commentary published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. Amit Khera, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says that although some of these tests may be right for some patients, mandating their use via legislation goes far beyond what the evidence to date supports.

"I'm not against this technology – I use it myself," Khera says. "But when you go from an individual doctor and a patient making a decision about a test to a statement like 'we should apply this to an entire population, and the evidence is so strong that we need a law,' I think then you need a much higher level of evidence and a more detailed look at all the ramifications."

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