Boynton to cut down on unnecessary care costs

A new initiative helps doctors and patients avoid unnecessary and pricey tests and procedures.

University of Minnesota students receiving treatment from Boynton Health Services may see a change in the way nurse practitioners and doctors talk to them about their care.

As part of a plan to reduce unnecessary costs, Boynton will conduct training for its physicians to help cut down on nonessential MRIs, X-rays and other expensive tests, the Minnesota Daily reported April 3.

The program comes as part of a larger initiative called Choosing Wisely, which aims to educate physicians and patients about the cost of unnecessary tests and improve doctor-patient communication. Boynton is one of several clinics in Minnesota that plan to put the Choosing Wisely training platform in motion.

According to its website, Choosing Wisely will enhance doctor-patient communication about health care tests in order to use health care resources more effectively. National Physicians Alliance developed the concept and hopes to help patients make decisions about care that are safe, necessary and not redundant.

We support Boynton’s plan to reduce costs by increasing doctor-patient communication and providing training that will give patients — including many students — a better view of what care is essential and what is extraneous.

Medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States are costly, which could be a significant part of why doctors feel pressure to perform unnecessary tests.

An initiative that educates doctors and patients about how to communicate the intricacies of health care and reduce the costs for both the patient and the clinic is important if the University is to keep health care affordable for all students.