Quality of Outpatient Care Has Not Consistently Improved Over Last Decade

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Michael Levine M.D.,M.A. Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. David Levine

David Michael Levine M.D.,M.A.
Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: About a decade ago, researchers showed that Americans only received half of recommended health care. Since then, national, regional, and local initiatives have attempted to improve quality and patient experience, but there is incomplete information about whether such efforts have been successful.

We found that over the past decade the quality of outpatient care has not consistently improved, while patient experience has improved.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Many Americans are not receiving beneficial recommended care, while others are receiving excess care that may cause harm. Deficits in care continue to pose serious hazards to the health of the American public.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our study does not included changes that may have occurred due to the Affordable Care Act. We are eagerly awaiting more recent data to see if the large changes made by the Affordable Care Act have changed the quality of outpatient care in the United States.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Some important statistics that speak to the importance of this quality problem:
• About 1 in 4 eligible Americans failed to receive recommended cancer screening, diagnostic and preventive testing, or diabetes care.
• About 60% of eligible Americans did not receive beneficial cardiovascular and pulmonary therapy
• About 50% of Americans who made a visit for viral illnesses received inappropriate antibiotics
• Almost 1 in 6 Americans who made a visit for back pain received an inappropriate lumbar xray – the largest radiation dose of any xray (equivalent to 70 chest xrays)

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


The Quality of Outpatient Care Delivered to Adults in the United States, 2002 to 2013
JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6217
David M. Levine, MD, MA; Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH; Bruce E. Landon, MD, MBA, MSc

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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