To the Editor Dr Joynt and colleagues1 demonstrated limitations in cost savings achievable by reducing emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations for some of the most common preventable diseases faced by Medicare patients in a high-cost group.
However, the study used an algorithm created by Billings et al2 to define preventable visits as those ED diagnosis codes that were determined to be nonemergent; emergent but primary care treatable; and emergent, ED care needed, but preventable.
Weiner SG, Smulowitz PB. Preventable Acute Care Spending for Medicare Patients. JAMA. 2013;310(18):1984–1985. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278598
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