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Research Letter
March 2016

Geographic Variation in Medicare Expenditures, 2003-2012

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(3):405-407. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7814

Geographic variation in health care use and expenditures among Medicare beneficiaries has long been studied in the United States.1 Such variation is associated with inefficiency of health care where utilization rates vary across geographic regions.2 This variation is wasteful because higher utilization rates are not associated with better outcomes.3 One might hope that public reporting would decrease such variation. This study sought to determine whether variation in 6 categories of per capita Medicare expenditures, as well as total per capita expenditures, had changed in the 10 years beginning 2003.

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