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“Most of the time, you can get away with it,” said Mooney, director of interventional cardiology at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. “But when you don’t get away with it, the patient is going to be in trouble.”
Mooney said most Twin Cities cardiologists have already shifted toward this conservative approach, which was recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Instead of immediately removing blockages, the doctors review their patients’ tests and imaging scans and, if necessary, do follow up procedures before the patients leave the hospital.
Even if doctors have already adopted some of these practices, Epstein said it is important to promote them. Claims data show that some doctors still operate outside these guidelines. Elective inductions and C-sections, for example, still occur before pregnant women reach 39 weeks gestation, which increases the risk of birth defects.
“The last thing we want,” he said, “is for somebody to have something happen to them — have some bad outcome — and then realize I didn’t need that test or procedure in the first place.”
Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744