Skip to content
Issues

Low-Value Care

Surgery

When it comes to treatment, our health care system should place need and potential benefit above profit.

U.S. patients spend more than $200 billion each year on procedures and treatments that are considered “low value,” or unnecessary, often because providers have a financial incentive to recommend them. And because low-value care involves treatment that is not supported by clinical research, the potential harm to patients can outweigh the possible benefits.

We are focused on identifying and avoiding drivers of low-value care to reduce wasteful spending, eliminate harm to patients, and increase efficiency in the health care system. We support interventions and payment reforms that give providers financial incentives to deliver coordinated, high-quality care to patients. We work with researchers and clinicians to identify and develop approaches that ensure patients receive appropriate services.

Arnold A decorative icon

Image: Photo by Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

20.6% Proportion of medical care cited as “unnecessary” by physicians
$210B Amount we spend on unnecessary health care services
23-37% Proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who receive at least one low-value service
30K Number of deaths each year attributed to low-value care