"Excessive testing costs $200 billion to $250 billion (per year)," Dr. Steven Weinberger, CEO of ACP said in an interview from his office in Philadelphia. "There's an overuse of imaging studies, CT scans for lung disease, overuse of routine electrocardiograms and other cardiac tests such as stress testing."
In an article published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the ACP cited 37 clinical situations where screening did not promote health and might actually hurt patients.
They included performing coronary angiography - a procedure that uses a special contrast agent and X-rays to see inside the heart's arteries - in patients with chronic, stable chest pain that is being controlled by drugs or who lack specific high-risk criteria on exercise testing.
"It's medical gluttony," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
"The ironic thing is that people are talking about rationing. We have got to think about the rational use of medicine in order to avoid rationing medicine," he said.