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Medicare spends billions on “low value” services, US study finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3333 (Published 15 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3333
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Medicare, the US health insurance plan that covers 50 million elderly and disabled people, spends billions of dollars a year on services that provide little or no benefit to patients, a new study claims.1

For the study the researchers identified 26 services that could be identified from Medicare claims data and that had been found to provide low value in a variety of assessments, including those conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s “Choosing Wisely” initiative, the US Preventive Services Task Force, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the Canadian …

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