An estimated 10-30% of health spending consists of low value care, which is defined as patient care that provides no net benefit in specific clinical scenarios. Despite decades of studies and clinical guidelines highlighting this problem, low-value care is not only persistent, but for some conditions it is actually increasing over time. Low-value care is difficult to measure so its measurement lags compared with other areas of quality measurement.
Reducing low-value care could not only lower health care costs but could also reduce preventable harm, such as excessive radiation exposure from diagnostic imaging. In the context of rising healthcare costs, there is substantial national interest among policymakers, hospital and practice leaders to effectively and accurately measure and eliminate low-value care.
Presenter: John N. Mafi, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Affiliated Natural Scientist in Health Policy at RAND
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