If your doctor orders an MRI, CT scan, or other medical test, speak up. "Ask why its being ordered, what will be done afterward if the results are positive (or negative), and what your risk factors are," says Dr. Phillips. If the answer is simply, "routine screening," the test may be unnecessary. The doctor should have specific reasons, he says.
Organize your medical recordsand share them with all your providers
One reason for unnecessary tests is scattered record keeping. "It helps if your doctor has electronic medical records," says Dr. Phillips. "Frequently, blood tests are repeated because doctors dont know a test has already been done or because they cant put their hands on the results. And if youre also seeing a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, or other specialists, youre likely to have the same test repeated two or three times."
When you do need to have a test done, it pays to call a few different testing facilities to compare prices. If youre paying out-of-pocket, or are worried about exhausting your health-insurance caps, you might find that the savings are considerable.