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Many common procedures unneeded, say doctors groups

Routine tests often costly, and sometimes harmful

Nine medical specialty groups have released a list of 45 tests and procedures that patients often do not need - even though doctors routinely perform them. They include annual electrocardiograms, CT scans for low back pain, and chest X-rays before surgery.

Ordering these tests when they are not merited wastes money and can harm patients by exposing them to radiation and more unneeded medical procedures, the physician groups said.

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