May 29, 2019

Overuse of Health Care: A Persistent Regional Problem - New Research Insights

Systemic overuse of health care follows regional patterns that are highly persistent over time, according to a new study of commercial health insurance claims from 2010 to 2015. This Research Insights summarizes the work of NIHCM grantee Jodi Segal and colleagues, which found that the geographic patterns of overuse among the commercially insured were similar to those of the Medicare population, and that systemic overuse was lower in rural regions of states than in metropolitan areas. The researchers recommend addressing structural and system-wide factors that contribute to a "culture of overuse" rather than trying to curb overuse of specific individual services.