Nav: Home

Is higher health care spending by physicians associated with better outcomes?

March 13, 2017

Higher health care utilization spending by physicians was not associated with better outcomes for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries in a new article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

The article by Yusuke Tsugawa, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and coauthors examined variation in spending across physicians' adjusted Medicare Part B spending levels and its association with patients' 30-day mortality and readmission rates.

The authors used a random sample of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who were hospitalized with a nonelective medical condition between 2011 and 2014. The primary analysis focused on hospitalist physicians and a secondary analysis focused on general internists. Physician spending levels were calculated in 2011 through 2012 and patient outcomes were examined in 2013 and 2014 so the severity of a patient's illness did not directly affect physician spending estimates.

The authors report health care spending varied more across individual physicians than across hospitals and, among hospitalized patients, higher spending by physicians was not associated with lower 30-day mortality or 30-day readmissions.

The study has limitations, including that its analysis was restricted to hospitalized Medicare patients so the results may not be generalizable to other patient groups.

"Given larger variation in spending across physicians than across hospitals, policies that target physicians within hospitals may be more effective in reducing wasteful spending than policies focusing solely on hospitals," the article concludes.
-end-
(JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 13, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0059; available pre-embargo at the For The Media website.)

Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the articles for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Physicians Articles:

Physicians call for an end to conversion therapy
Historically, conversion therapies have used electroshock therapy, chemical drugs, hormone administrations and even surgery.
Racial bias associated with burnout among resident physicians
Symptoms of physician burnout appear to be associated with greater bias toward black people in this study of nearly 3,400 second-year resident physicians in the United States who identified as nonblack.
Survey finds physicians struggle with their own self-care
Despite believing that self-care is a vitally important part of health and overall well-being, many physicians overlook their own self-care, according to a new survey released today, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Samueli Integrative Health Programs.
Less burnout seen among US physicians, Stanford researcher says
The epidemic levels of physicians reporting burnout dropped modestly in 2017, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic and the American Medical Association.
Payments to physicians may increase opioid prescribing
US doctors who receive direct payments from opioid manufacturers tend to prescribe more opioids than doctors who receive no such payments, according to new research published by Addiction.
Is marketing of opioids to physicians associated with overdose deaths?
This study examined the association between pharmaceutical company marketing of opioids to physicians and subsequent death from prescription opioid overdoses across US counties.
Nearly half of resident physicians report burnout
Resident physician burnout in the US is widespread, with the highest rates concentrated in certain specialties, according to research from Mayo Clinic, OHSU and collaborators.
Burnout and scope of practice in new family physicians
Among physicians, family physicians report some of the highest levels of burnout.
Majority of US physicians say they're burned out or depressed
This release concerns the first-ever Medscape National Report on Physician Burnout and Depression.
More than five percent of family physicians did not attempt recertification
More than five percent of family physicians did not attempt recertification.
More Physicians News and Physicians Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.