Johns Hopkins ophthalmologist Oliver Schein has found a simple way to save a half a billion dollars a year from our country’s health-care bill, with no negative effect on patient health. The only thing standing in the way is a stubborn government requirement.

Seventeen years ago, Dr. Schein and colleagues published a study finding that cataract surgery patients who underwent routine preoperative testing — such as an electrocardiogram, blood tests and imaging studies — had no fewer complications than those with zero testing. The risks of this surgery are so small that they can typically be identified and handled on the day it occurs. Nonetheless, 53% of patients continue to receive testing as part of a preoperative medical exam despite robust evidence that this exam and testing does not reduce surgical risk for cataracts patients.

This post is from Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Co-founder of Doctella. This is an excerpt reposted from his blog, Voices for Safer Care. Please visit his website to read the full article.