Thirty cents of every health care dollar is wasted, according to speakers at a recent “Cost of Health Care in Arkansas” symposium at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law. What accounts for some of the waste? Unnecessary procedures with substantial costs that usually offer little or no health benefit to the patient.
Examples of low-value care include unnecessary diagnostic imaging, vitamin D screenings, annual electrocardiograms (EKG) for patients without symptoms or risk factors, antibiotics for a simple respiratory infection and aggressive treatment for lower back pain before it has a chance to improve through rest and gentler therapies.
Patients themselves may have to put a stop to low-value care, says Dr. Joe Thompson with the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.
“They have the most skin in the game, so to speak,” he said.