At a time when seemingly everyone is concerned about the rising costs of health care, new research suggests as much as 40 percent of medical procedures in practice offer patients no benefits. A meta-analysis of data published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings determined 146 of the 363 practices examined were “ineffective” or offered no benefits to patients, likely contributing to the $2.7 trillion Americans overpay for health care each year. “It’s a step in the right direction for research like this to be published at all, but it’s a big leap from identifying such procedures to getting physicians to stop using them,” said UTMB’s Dr. Howard Brody, who was not involved in the study.