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Hospitals performed 100,000 unnecessary surgeries in the first year of COVID-19, Lown Institute says

U.S. hospitals performed more than 100,000 surgeries on older patients during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new Lown Institute analysis. The healthcare think tank relied on Medicare claims data and analyzed eight common low-value procedures. It called the 100,000 procedures unnecessary and potentially harmful in a press release. It found that between March and December 2020, among the most-performed surgeries were coronary stents and back surgeries. More

The best hospitals for avoiding unnecessary services: Lown Institute

For the ranking, Lown examined service use measures at more than 3,100 hospitals. Data in the ranking came from the Medicare claims database and spanned 2018 to 2020. Eight common procedures — including hysterectomy for benign disease, coronary stents for stable heart disease and spinal fusion for low back pain — were measured. Four tests were also considered. Hospitals with the capacity to do four or more of the services were ranked. More

Federal physician malpractice database may not work as intended

"There's sort of this conspiracy of silence in which everything goes along pell-mell, merrily business as usual," said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, which publishes research on unnecessary procedures. "Hospitals have no incentive to say, 'are you sure everything we're doing is needed?' Hospitals are in the business of collecting revenue, and so it's not that they're deliberately engaging in ripping off communities, it's that they have no incentive to try to be better, and they have plenty of disincentives." More