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Low-Value Care Exposure Not Linked to Favorable Patient Ratings

TUESDAY, June 8, 2021 -- For a primary care professional (PCP) patient panel, more low-value care exposure is not associated with more favorable patient ratings of the health care experience, according to a study published online May 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Prachi Sanghavi, Ph.D., from the University of Chicago, and colleagues examined correlations between low-value service provision to a PCP patient panel and patients' ratings of their health care experiences in a study using Medicare fee-for-service claims from Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2014. For each PCP, a composite score of low-value service exposure was constructed. The authors evaluated the association between low-value service exposure and health care experience ratings reported by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Medicare fee-for-service survey respondents in the PCP patient panel.

Data were included for a final sample of 100,743 PCPs, with a mean of about 258 patients per PCP. The researchers identified only one notable association: More low-value care exposure correlated with more frequent reports of having to wait more than 15 minutes after the scheduled appointment time. Some other associations were statistically significant, but their magnitudes were considerably smaller than those typically considered meaningful in literature and were inconsistent in direction.

"These results should help alleviate the stress that physicians may feel around possibly leaving patients dissatisfied because they didn't do something the patient asked for," Sanghavi said in a statement. "It should also relieve pressure to provide unnecessary care in order to boost ratings."

One author disclosed financial ties to CVS Health.

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