Nine out of 10 Medicare patients who received a stent procedure for coronary disease report that their physicians did not present them with the non-invasive alternative of managing their condition with medication, according to the results of a study published online today by the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Floyd J. Fowler Jr., senior scientific advisor at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, was the study’s principal investigator.
The study’s authors surveyed Medicare patients who received stents or underwent prostate surgery for cancer to learn how decisions are made for two major preference-sensitive procedures where there are conservative, non-invasive alternatives and the options involve significant tradeoffs among possible outcomes.
“Both groups document the need for increased efforts to inform and involve patients in treatment decisions. Providers have an ethical responsibility to do this, but we found that the majority of stent patients were not adequately informed or involved in the decision to have the procedure,” said Fowler.
The study and its findings led the authors to conclude that physicians need to increase their efforts to inform and involve patients in decisions before performing elective procedures.
Floyd J. Fowler, Jr., Foundation senior scientific advisor, discusses the results of a recent Medicare study on decisions regarding stents and prostate cancer surgery.