More Than 30 Specialty Societies to Release New Choosing Wisely Lists Of Tests or Treatments to Question

PHILADELPHIA – In late 2013 and early 2014, leading medical specialty societies will release more than 30 new lists of specific tests or procedures they say are commonly ordered but not always necessary and could cause harm as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, the ABIM Foundation announced today.

The new lists continue the Choosing Wisely campaign, which brings together national physician groups to develop evidence-based lists of five tests and procedures that may be overused in their specific field. First launched in April 2012, this marks the third wave of lists released as part of theChoosing Wisely effort. These new lists build on the library of more than 130 tests and procedures that have been identified as potentially harmful and should be discussed with patients and physicians. To date, 54 societies and 17 consumer groups have joined the Choosing Wisely effort.

“When the Choosing Wisely campaign was launched in 2012, we were at the threshold of a national dialogue on waste and overuse in our health care system,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “Thanks to the leadership of physician groups and consumer partners, the campaign has inspired conversations about what care is truly necessary in doctors’ offices, communities, hospitals and health systems across the country.”

The goal of the Choosing Wisely campaign is to spark conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary for specific conditions. Each of the lists is developed by the individual specialty societies, using the most current evidence about management and treatment options.

Participating specialty societies will release their list of recommendations beginning in early September and releases are scheduled through March 2014. Societies releasing lists and the date of their release are:

  • September 4, 2013 – AMDA – Dedicated to Long Term Care Medicine
  • September 4, 2013 – American College of Surgeons
  • September 4, 2013 – Commission on Cancer – a multidisciplinary program of the American College of Surgeons
  • September 11, 2013 – American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • September 12, 2013 – Society of General Internal Medicine
  • September 20, 2013 – American Psychiatric Association
  • September 23, 2013 – American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • September 24, 2013 – American Academy of Family Physicians**
  • September 26, 2013 – American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology
  • October 8, 2013 – American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • October 9, 2013 – North American Spine Society
  • October 14, 2013 – American College of Emergency Physicians
  • October 16, 2013 – American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/The Endocrine Society
  • October 27, 2013 – American College of Chest Physicians/American Thoracic Society (Pulmonary)
  • October 27, 2013 – American College of Rheumatology*
  • October 29, 2013 – American Academy of Dermatology
  • October 29, 2013 – American Society of Clinical Oncology*
  • October 31, 2013 – Society of Gynecologic Oncology
  • November 21, 2013 – American Headache Society
  • December 4, 2013 – American Society of Hematology
  • January 11, 2014 – American Association of Critical-Care Nurses/American College of Chest Physicians/American Thoracic Society/Society of Critical Care Medicine (Critical Care)
  • January 16, 2014 – Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • February 3, 2014 – Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • February 10, 2014 – Heart Rhythm Society
  • February 24, 2014 – American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • February 27, 2014 – American Geriatrics Society*
  • February 28, 2014 – American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology*
  • Release date TBD:
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

* Releasing a second list

** Releasing a third list

The ABIM Foundation is also working to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign through grants to 21 projects being conducted by state medical societies, specialty societies and regional health collaboratives. The grantees are helping educate practicing physicians and build physician communication skills to have conversations with patients about the care they need. Grantees are also participating in a learning network to encourage them to learn from one another and enhance the effectiveness of their own programs. Support for the grant program comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Consumer Reports is a working with the ABIM Foundation and Choosing Wisely partners to publish easy-to-understand resources for patients to understand the recommendations. With more than 40 patient-friendly pieces completed, the materials help explain the scientific basis for decisions, describe patient options and articulate the risks and benefits of respective tests, treatments and procedures so that patients can engage in an informed conversation with their physician.


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Jaime McClennen