Publication Abstract

Authors: Landrum MB, Meara ER, Chandra A, Guadagnoli E, Keating NL

Title: Is spending more always wasteful? The appropriateness of care and outcomes among colorectal cancer patients.

Journal: Health Aff (Millwood) 27(1):159-68

Date: 2008 Jan-Feb

Abstract: Increased area-level medical spending is not correlated with improved patient outcomes or quality, thereby supporting the case for spending reductions in high-spending regions. However, all additional spending need not be wasteful. Examining the care of patients with colorectal cancer, we show that high-spending regions are more likely than other regions to use recommended care but are also more likely to use discretionary and nonrecommended care, the latter of which has adverse outcomes for patients. Our results show that instead of cutting spending, policies designed to target services to patients most likely to benefit could increase the value of medical spending.