Here are some of the tests offered in the $1,400 Presidential Physical. The concierge practice that offers the physical says they constitute the best possible care, but the government's panel of experts and disease societies disagree.
Pulmonary function test: Also known as spirometry and used to diagnose lung problems. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against using it as a screening test in healthy adults, saying there is moderate to high certainty that this screening test has no net benefits and may cause harm.
Chest X-ray: Used to look for lung abnormalities that may signal a tumor or tuberculosis. The USPSTF says there's not enough evidence to tell if the benefits outweigh the harm of using it as a cancer screening tool. The American Cancer Society does not endorse it as a lung cancer screening method.
Resting EKG: The USPSTF recommends against routine electrocardiogram screening of adults with low risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that physicians order it based on personal medical or family history only.
Abdominal ultrasound: A one-time ultrasound is recommended by the USPSTF to find abdominal aortic aneurysms, but only in men between 65 and 75 who have a history of smoking. It makes no recommendation for men in that age range who haven't smoked, doesn't mention it at all for younger men, and recommends against it entirely for women, regardless of age.
Urinalysis: Even simply peeing in a cup isn't necessarily helpful. The USPSTF doesn't recommend it be used to screen for bladder cancers or bacterial infections (except in pregnant women). A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2006 found that the test during a physical very likely leads to more than 28,000 kidney biopsies with 1,470 complications.