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Low-Value Care


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.

Image: Photo by Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

Low-Value Care Grants


Proportion of medical care cited as “unnecessary” by physicians
Amount we spend on unnecessary health care services
Proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who receive at least one low-value service
Number of deaths each year attributed to low-value care


Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons