It’s hard for both doctors and patients to wrap their minds around, but many tests and procedures commonly done are unnecessary. These procedures drive up cost and don’t help patients. By some estimates, as much as one-third of all procedures performed in the United States are of “questionable benefit.”

In a move likely to alter treatment standards in hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide, a group of nine medical specialty boards plans to recommend on Wednesday that doctors perform 45 common tests and procedures less often, and to urge patients to question these services if they are offered.

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