RWJF Awards $4.2 Million to Reduce Unnecessary Medical Procedures

The ABIM Foundation in Philadelphia has announced a $4.2 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of efforts to reduce the use of unnecessary medical tests and treatments.

The grant will enable the foundation to expand its Choosing Wisely campaign and work with health systems, hospitals, regional health organizations, and physician-led groups to encourage discussions about which tests and procedures may be unnecessary and/or potentially harmful. Since the campaign began in 2012, more than sixty medical specialty societies have created lists of tests or procedures they say are overused or inappropriate in their specialty.

The foundation will use the funds to support seven sub-grantees working to reduce the use of antibiotics for viral infections and at least two other types of overuse; create a learning network to unite grantees from Choosing Wisely programs and stakeholders from across the healthcare system; and support Consumer Reports and its role in leading patient education and outreach.

"In order to achieve a national 'Culture of Health', it is important that we ensure physicians and patients have conversations about what tests and procedures are truly needed and address the challenge of overuse within our healthcare system," said RWJF senior program officer Susan Mende. "Choosing Wisely has dramatically raised awareness of this issue, but we must turn awareness into action."