Hospitals in the USA where patients are not forced to do unnecessary tests and overpay
When you're not feeling well, it may seem like any test is a good idea. But this is not always the case. In fact, hospitals regularly run low-value tests and procedures on elderly patients at the risk of harm, according to the Lown Institute, a health think tank. Writes about it Money Talks News.
The organization has now ranked more than 3100 hospitals nationwide based on how well they avoid tests and procedures with little or no medical benefit.
Three types of tests or procedures were particularly common among the 12 low-value services that the Lown Institute examined for its 2021 rankings:
- Hysterectomy for benign neoplasms
- Coronary stents for stable heart disease
- Diagnostic tests such as fainting head scans
In addition, vertebroplasty - a procedure for injecting bone cement into the spine - is still overused in many hospitals. Despite evidence that the procedure is ineffective for fractures associated with osteoporosis.
The Lown Institute found that over 90% of hospitals abuse low-value tests or procedures for patients with Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people aged 65 and over, and people with certain medical conditions or disabilities.
Overall, more than 1 million tests and procedures performed in hospitals for Medicare patients between 2016 and 2018 met the established criteria for identifying examples of overuse.
Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, said: "Overuse of tests and procedures in American hospitals is a pervasive problem that needs to be addressed."
However, some hospitals have resisted the trend of overuse of tests and procedures. These are usually regional healthcare providers rather than the country's most prominent institutions.
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Top 10 hospitals:
- Scott County Hospital (Scott City, Kansas)
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA)
- West River Regional Medical Center (Hattinger, North Dakota)
- Highland Hospital (Rochester, New York)
- Mayo Clinic Health System - Lake City (Lake City, Minnesota)
- Maine Medical Center (Portland, Maine)
- Sidney Regional Medical Center (Sydney, Nebraska)
- Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (Lebanon, New Hampshire)
- Healdsburg District Hospital (Hiddlesburg, California)
- Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (Martinez, California)
The Lown Institute notes that the top 50 hospitals to avoid unnecessary procedures are most concentrated in New England and the Northwest. In contrast, the south is home to the vast majority of the 50 lowest-rated hospitals.
A complete list of 50 hospitals where unnecessary tests can be avoided can be found in the report. Lown Institute Hospitals Index 2021.
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