Question every test
Our research has shown 15 to 30 percent of everything we do in healthcare—tests, medications, and procedures—is unnecessary. This is based on a nationwide survey of doctors themselves who are saying they’re ordering things in their own specialty that are unnecessary. (In a more recent study, 97 percent of ER doctors nationwide said they’ve ordered imaging tests they know are unnecessary.) It’s partly due to patient demand; it’s partly to prevent malpractice. Anytime your doctor orders a test, ask why he’s ordering it, what he expects to learn, and how it will change your care if you don’t have it done. —Marty Makary, MD, MPH, a surgeon and the author of Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care
Make sure you’re actually admitted
You can stay overnight in the hospital but never officially be ‘admitted.’ Instead, the hospital can say you are there ‘under observation.’ That can be tricky for seniors because if you’re then sent to a nursing home for rehab, Medicare won’t pay for it unless you were actually admitted. Always ask if you’re admitted. —Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. Check out these other 50 secrets hospitals are keeping from you.