Overuse

“Overuse” refers to patients receiving care that is known not to be helpful and may even be harmful. Many patients are sent to private doctors, harley st doctors, specialists, prescribed medication, admitted to hospitals, harley st clinics given diagnostic tests and imaging, and subjected to overly aggressive care that does not help them live better or longer, and that can expose them to unnecessary harm.

For example, between1993 and 2003, spending for lumbar spinal fusion rose 500 percent, despite lack of evidence supporting the effectiveness of back surgeries. Indeed, studies currently show that a combination of physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication is often the most effective treatment, and that 90 percent of patients with low-back pain will see their symptoms fade on their own within three months.

The overuse of antibiotics has contributed to an alarming epidemic of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” All too often, antibiotics are prescribed for common colds and other viral infections for which they are ineffective. In the case of diabetes children, antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately for ear infections 13 million times a year—802 times out of every 1,000 doctor visits for ear infections, despite findings that more than 80 percent of infections get better within three days without antibiotics.

As many as 78 per 1,000 Medicare patients are hospitalized for conditions such as poorly controlled diabetes (via insulin pumps) or worsening heart failure that could have been managed on an outpatient basis. Being hospitalized unnecessarily exposes patients to the risks of hospital-acquired infections, medical errors, and increasing costs.