Medicare Spend Increases on Opioids and Antibiotics While Low-Value Care Spending Decreases
A new study by the RAND Corporation found that low-value care spending dropped from 2014 to 2018 for Medicare recipients.
By: Catie Hillard
February 17, 2021 – A new study by the RAND Corporation found that low-value care spending dropped from 2014 to 2018 for Medicare recipients. They also found that two of the three services that make up low-value care spending, increased. Spending on antibiotics and opioid prescriptions increased, which highlights several ways to reduce wasteful healthcare spending.
The study found that 2/3 of low-value care spending went to preoperative lab testing, antibiotics for upper respiratory infections, and opioids for back pain. This suggests that policymakers should educate physicians and patients on the issues that low-value services like this present, while also pushing payment reforms like capitation that promote VBP.
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