Hospitals overuse medical tests and procedures that don’t help patients, analysis finds

“Overuse is ubiquitous,” said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute. “Nearly every hospital is doing at least some things that patients don’t really need.” “There is improvement,” he added, “but it is very slow and it is very uneven.”

Saini, of the Lown Institute, said he hopes more attention on overuse will push hospitals to do better. “We’re trying to create new norms for what it means to be a good hospital,” he said.


Measuring what matters: How hospital rankings are evolving

Last year, the Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass.-based nonpartisan healthcare think tank, broke new ground with the release of the Lown Hospitals Index that includes metrics such as racial inclusivity, pay equity and community benefit spending. The institute is now releasing updated 2021 results for the full index starting with the May 4 announcement of the top hospitals in the U.S. for avoiding overuse of low-value tests and procedures. "What we're trying to show is the hospitals at the top of our list are showing that it can be done. It is quite possible. So, for us the rationale for doing this is to show by example what can be done and then participate in what needs to be a broader movement to have American healthcare to move in that direction. It's only when we're able to do that will we be able to solve the deeper problems in healthcare, including affordability," said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute. More