Waste in the Medicare Program

A National Cross-Sectional Analysis of 2017 Low-Value Service Use and Spending

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine (2020). doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06061-0

Posted on RAND.org on December 29, 2020

by Rachel O. Reid, John N. Mafi, Lesley Baseman, A. Mark Fendrick, Cheryl L. Damberg

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Low-value health care services offer patients little to no clinical benefit, increase spending, and may cause patient harm. The Choosing Wisely® campaign and other efforts to reduce health care spending have focused attention on reducing waste since low-value services were last cumulatively assessed in Medicare in 2009. Other studies have addressed different populations or explored predictors of low-value service use and spending. In this analysis, we provide updated national estimates of low-value service use and spending in Medicare in 2017.

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