Study finds EAMC among healthcare systems providing unnecessary care – Valley Times-News
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association ranked East Alabama Medical Center among the top five in the nation for overuse of needed medical care.
The cross-sectional study included 676 US healthcare systems. All participants were Medicare beneficiaries with claims from 2016 to 2018.
The median age of eligible recipients was 75.5 years and 76% were female, according to study data.
The study determined that higher amounts of overuse among healthcare systems were associated with investor ownership and fewer primary care physicians.
“We have reviewed this report, however, it would take significant time, resources and research to replicate the study’s Overuse Index and data methodologies to formulate a fully informed response. As we pursue our fifth peak of a pandemic that has now lasted 22 months, these are not readily available resources,” said EAMC public relations director John Atkinson. “If investigators had provided individual hospitals with their data analyzes detailed information from 2016-2018, the information could have been validated and found useful. For now, we will remain focused on our mission to provide high quality and compassionate healthcare. Our organization is involved in many quality initiatives and patient safety at the state and national level and has won numerous awards in this area.We continuously evaluate the care that we provide to patients according to their individual needs to ensure the best possible results. It should be noted that our profile on Medicare’s extensive Hospital Compare website does not indicate any abnormalities that patients might be concerned about. Instead, our ratings are favorable and very much in line with those of other quality-conscious hospitals.
One of the doctors involved in the study, Jodi Segal, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, epidemiology and health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University, said the study was never intended to be used to call individual health systems.
“I encourage you to focus on results – more primary care physicians, less overuse; being a teaching hospital reduces overuse, etc. “said Segal. “These are things that health systems should explore.”