August 4, 2008 6:24 AM Subscribe
Are expensive, precautionary tests for health preventive maintenance an abuse of the medical system?
posted by netbros to health & fitness (17 answers total)
We change the oil, belts, and filters in our cars on a regular basis to avoid failure. We update our computers appropriately with the latest security patches. Women get mammograms, men prostate screenings. Occasional chest x-rays have become routine. But what about the more expensive diagnostic testing?
My grandfather died of heart disease. My father survived a heart attack when he was 52, but has had two angioplasty procedures since. Obviously, at age 55, I am at high risk for heart disease, but am otherwise very healthy. A couple years ago I talked with my physician about testing my arteries before they clog or blow. He ordered a preventive stress test, and everything looked rosey.
Is this kind of testing abusive? How about MRI or CT-scan for those with a family history of stroke? Will this kind of preventive testing cause insurance rates to go up for everyone? Should it be more common? Thanks in advance for your help.