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A third of Massachusetts healthcare spending is “wasteful,” says report

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g173 (Published 10 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g173
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Around one third of spending on healthcare in Massachusetts could be considered wasteful, a state commission report has concluded.1

Examples of waste included $700m (£430m; €515m) in preventable hospital readmissions, $550m in unnecessary visits to emergency departments, $10m to $18m in healthcare associated infections, $3m to $8m in early elective inductive deliveries, and $1m to $2m in inappropriate imaging for lower back pain, the report said.

Overall, wasteful spending ranged from an estimated 21% to 39% ($14.7m to $26.9m) of the state’s total annual healthcare expenditures.

In 2006 Massachusetts was the first state to adopt a law that sought to achieve universal healthcare coverage, and now 96.9% of the state’s residents have …

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