Hospital Overuse in COVID

Every year, hundreds of thousands of older Americans receive tests and procedures in hospitals that are more likely to harm than help.

How often did this overuse happen in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, before vaccines were widely available? Join Lown Institute researchers to find out as we share new research on hospitals overuse in COVID.

The Lown Hospitals Index is the first to measure how well hospitals avoid unnecessary tests and procedures. We’ve applied our novel metric to new 2020 data and are excited to share the results.


Meet the panelists

Vikas Saini, MD

Vikas Saini, MD
Vikas Saini, MD

President, Lown Institute

Vikas Saini, MD, president of the Lown Institute, is a clinical cardiologist trained by Dr. Bernard Lown at Harvard. He also serves as co-chair of the Right Care Alliance, a grassroots network of clinicians, patient activists, and community leaders organizing to put patients, not profits, at the heart of health care.

Dr. Saini is an expert on the optimal medical management of cardiologic conditions, medical overuse, hospital performance and evaluation, and health equity. He has spoken and presented research at professional meetings around the world, and has been quoted in numerous print media, radio, and television.


Shannon Brownlee, MSc

Shannon Brownlee, MSc

Special Advisor to the President, Lown Institute

Shannon Brownlee, MSc, serves as the senior vice president of the Lown Institute from 2012 to 2021. She played a pivotal role in the creation and development of the Institute‚Äôs signature project, the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, the first ranking to measure hospital social responsibility, and is currently the co-chair of the Right Care Alliance. She is also a lecturer in the Department of Policy and Management at the George Washington University School of Public Health.

Brownlee is a nationally recognized speaker and writer, earning her a Congressional Commendation among numerous other awards. Her groundbreaking book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, was named the best economics book of 2007 by the New York Times. Her work has been featured in publications such as The AtlanticNew York Times MagazineThe Washington PostTimes of LondonTimeNew RepublicLos Angeles Times, and Health Affairs.


Kelsey Chalmers, PhD

Kelsey Chalmers, PhD
Kelsey Chalmers, PhD

Data Research Manager, Lown Institute

Kelsey Chalmers, PhD joined the Lown Institute in early 2020. Prior to this, she worked as a health policy researcher at the University of Sydney, Australia, where she also received her PhD in public health, with a focus on measuring overuse of medical care. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics.

Chalmers’ research interests center around healthcare overuse and equity. In 2021 her research on overuse of medical test and treatments in US hospitals was published in JAMA Network Open, and later this year she will be presenting new equity research at the AcademyHealth Research Meeting.