Seeing waste: Many Medicare patients given needless tests before cataract surgery, study finds

April 16, 2015 12:59 PM

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Millions of older people are getting tests they don't need to prove they are healthy enough to have cataracts removed, a new study finds. The excess testing before this quick, ultra-safe eye procedure is costing them and Medicare a bundle, and many patients don't know they can question it, doctors say.

"They should ask, 'Is it really necessary?'" and how much it will cost them in co-insurance — usually 20 percent under Medicare, said one study leader, Dr. R. Adams Dudley of the University of California, San Francisco.

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