Percent of Americans who think overtreatment is a “major problem” in American health care: 49
Percent who say that, over the past two years, they have not received any unnecessary medical tests or treatments themselves: 82
Percent who say their doctor never recommended an expensive test or treatment when a cheaper alternative would do: 87
Percent who have asked their doctor about the cost of a recommended lab test: 22
Patients’ trust of their doctors is at odds with the views of many policy wonks. There’s been plenty criticism of unnecessary CT scans, surgical procedures that don’t help, financial incentives that encourage docs to perform unnecessary procedures, and treatment guidelines that serve as marketing tools for industry.
“People are really trusting of their individual doctors, and a lot of experts might say that that’s, you know, misplaced trust, that the doctors don’t have all the information they need,” Mollyann Brodie, Kaiser’s polling director, told NPR. “But it is the individual doctors that the public most trusts to make these decisions.”