Penn Medicine is going all in on proton therapy, a costly treatment that is unproven for most common cancers

The explosive growth worries Vikas Saini, a cardiologist and president of the Lown Institute, a think tank that examines quality, cost, and equity across health care. He said doctors are prescribing proton therapy in a gray area — they think it may be better for a patient than the cheaper alternative, but there’s no hard proof.
“Everybody knows the game: You get an approval, and you go out on the market, then you expand the indications,” Saini said. “It’s called indication creep, or scope creep.”

Special Report: Questionable Care: Who Is Responsible?

Even in 2020, when many hospitals were refusing non-urgent surgeries, more than 100,000 unnecessary, and potentially harmful procedures were performed on older patients in the USA, according to anaylsis from health think-tank the Lown Institute. "You couldn't go into your local coffee shop, but hospitals brought people in for all kinds of unnecessary procedures," said Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute. "The fact that a pandemic barely slowed things down shows just how deeply entrenched overuse is in American healthcare." More

4 Medical Treatments That Are Sometimes Unnecessary

“It’s very easy for doctors and patients to go down the path of doing a medical procedure because it seems like, in theory, it would be safer and better, but that’s not always the case,” says Vikas Saini, MD, a cardiologist and president of the institute. “More medical care isn’t necessarily always better, especially for older adults.” More