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February 27, 2013

The Value of Low-Value Lists

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School (Drs Elshaug, McWilliams, and Landon), Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Dr McWilliams), and Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Dr Landon), Boston, Massachusetts; The Commonwealth Fund, New York, New York, and School of Population Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia (Dr Elshaug).

JAMA. 2013;309(8):775-776. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.828

An international groundswell of activity is seeking to identify and reduce the use of health care services that provide little or no benefit—whether through overuse or misuse. There are strong imperatives for identifying such waste: (1) an ethical imperative to ensure patient safety and thus avoid tests and treatments that cause harm directly or indirectly without providing commensurate benefit; (2) a quality imperative to measure and reward best practices; and (3) an economic imperative to reduce spending and enhance the diffusion of cost-effective innovations.

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