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January 17, 2017

Using the Electronic Health Record to Understand and Minimize Overuse

Author Affiliations
  • 1RAND Health, Santa Monica, California
  • 2General Internal Medicine, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California
  • 3Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2017;317(3):257-258. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18609

In the current US health care system, a major priority is addressing the cost of care, which exceeds that of all other nations. One of the most attractive areas to target is “overuse,” “unnecessary health care,” or “low-value care,” defined as care that provides little or no benefit to patients. These services account for substantial health care expenditures and may cause harm. Yet many factors contribute to overuse, including expansion of technology, physician payment schemes that encourage utilization, indication creep, patient expectations, and concerns about litigation.

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