Less than half of all Medicare recipients get a stress test before having common non-emergency procedures to reopen blocked coronary arteries, despite the fact that The American Heart Associations recommend it. A cardiac stress test, which is used to measure blood flow to the heart during exercise, can help determine who’s likely to benefit from procedures such as balloon angioplasty, in which a tiny balloon is used to reopen a blocked artery. A study in the Journal of American Medical Association found that only 44 percent of Medicare patients surveyed had a stress test before surgery. The article also stated that there might be confusion among doctors about when to choose surgical intervention over drug therapy for the treatment of coronary-artery disease. The article also linked doctors‚Äô Medicare payment to how closely they follow these recommendations which could prevent unnecessary surgical procedures and medical malpractice suits. To read the full story, click here.