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Seniors May Benefit from Fewer Prescriptions

Choosing Wisely initiative could prevent a worsening of health outcomes for elderly.

A new movement known as Choosing Wisely could change the problem of senior citizens being treated for too many ailments at one time, according to Politico in "Senior medicine: When 'more' isn't better."

As people age, they often pick up more and more health problems. They can end up taking many daily prescriptions medicines, as they are treated for every ailment with procedures and medication.

A movement was started five years ago by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. It is known as the Choosing Wisely initiative, which recognizes that too much treatment for the elderly can lead to worse health outcomes.

Seniors are more likely to suffer from bad surgical outcomes and are more likely to suffer from the debilitating side effects of prescription medications.

Therefore, instead of automatically treating everything, the group suggests individualized treatment plans that focus on the most important issues an elderly patient has and how all of their treatments interact.

Despite more than 80 medical specialty associations agreeing with the Choosing Wisely initiative, doctors are still often punished by reimbursement schemes for practicing it.

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