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Comment & Response
February 2017

Lingering Questions Concerning Intensive Care Unit Utilization

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert and Patricia Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):289. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8750

To the Editor The article in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine by Drs Chang and Shapiro1 asks an important question: Do hospitals’ habits of costly and invasive intensive care utilization affect patient outcomes? The authors conclude that intensive care unit (ICU) utilization is not associated with hospital mortality and estimate that decreasing ICU overutilization may save millions of dollars. Before policy experts and hospital administrators sharpen their knives to trim the fat of ICU overutilization, the authors’ may add perspective to some unmentioned elements of reporting that may change the above conclusions.