Many High-Tech Health Interventions Unnecessary and Wasted
February 15, 2011
In recent years, over 20 percent of patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD, a device that regulates heartbeats) were not actually good candidates for the device.
Researchers looked at more than 111,000 patients who received ICD implants. More than 25,000 did not meet evidence-based criteria for receiving the device -- and the risk of dying in the hospital is significantly higher for patients who receive an ICD but do not meet the criteria.
According to CNN:
"... ICDs often are recommended as a primary prevention tactic for patients who are at high risk for a cardiac arrest or life-threatening arrhythmia, but who have not yet suffered from these symptoms. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ... has issued a 'decision memo' stating that only people having certain serious heart conditions or cardiac histories are suitable candidates for ICDs."