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For-Profit Hospitals, Non-Teaching Hospitals Associated with Highest Rates of Overuse of Health Care Services, Study Finds

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Overuse of health care services exposes patients to unnecessary risk of harm and costs. A study of services performed at 3351 hospitals found that hospitals in the South, for-profit hospitals, and nonteaching hospitals were associated with the highest rates of overuse.

This retrospective cross-sectional analysis, published in JAMA Network, used Medicare fee-for-service claims data for beneficiaries older than 65 years from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017, with a lookback of 1 year. The primary analysis was performed on 2415 cohort A hospitals (ie, hospitals with capacity for 7 or more services), which included 1,263,592 patients.

The cross-sectional study used a novel measurement of hospital-associated overuse; results showed that the highest scores in this Medicare population were associated with nonteaching and for-profit hospitals, particularly in the South.

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