New grant supports next phase of Choosing Wisely campaign

The Choosing Wisely campaign, which focuses on reducing the use of unnecessary medical tests and treatments, will extend its reach among health-care providers and regional health organizations, thanks to a new $4.2-million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the ABIM Foundation.

Launched nearly three years ago, Choosing Wisely encourages physicians and patients to discuss which medical tests and procedures may be unnecessary for their condition. More than 60 medical specialty societies have created lists of tests or procedures they say are overused or inappropriate in their specialty, and that clinicians and patients should discuss.

Consumer Reports is a partner in the campaign, developing and disseminating materials for patients through large consumer groups to help patients engage their physicians in these conversations and empower them to ask questions about what tests and procedures are right for them.

With the new support, “we intend to expand the program by facilitating partnerships among physician organizations, multi-stakeholder groups and delivery systems to systematically work together to reduce wasteful care,” said Richard Baron, MD, president and CEO of the ABIM Foundation.

Seven grantees will be chosen to work for nearly three years to focus on at least three areas of waste or overuse cited by specialty societies. All grantees will focus on reducing the use of antibiotics for acute bronchitis and will select at least two additional tests or treatments from more than 300 Choosing Wisely recommendations already identified.

The new funding from RWJF also will support Consumer Reports and its role in leading patient education and outreach for Choosing Wisely.

This is the second grant from RWJF to advance the Choosing Wisely campaign. Since April 2013, 21 projects led by state medical societies, specialty societies and regional health collaboratives have helped educate physicians about the recommendations and build skills to have conversations with patients about the care they need.

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