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The Joint Commission and AMA Identify Five Medical Treatments that May Be Overused

Kristi Mitchell | Aug 26, 2013

The Joint Commission and the American Medical Association (AMA) Convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement® released a report on July 8, which was previously under an embargo, focusing on the overuse of tests, treatments, or procedures that provide zero to negligible benefit and expose patients to risk of harm.

The report reviews five specific areas: 

  1. Antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections (URIs), 
  2. Over-transfusion of red blood cells, 
  3. Tympanostomy tubes for middle ear effusion of brief duration, 
  4. Early-term non-medically indicated elective delivery, and 
  5. Elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

It is unlikely that providers will change practicing patterns based on the release of this report. Payment incentives, time pressures, malpractice fears and patient demand are more likely to sway provider behaviors. Payer interest in areas reviewed may be sparked based on report findings.   

What’s Next? Based on the report’s recommendations for each specific area, updated guidelines, educations materials, performance measures, and other materials may be released in the upcoming months/years.  Also, while another national summit has not been set, other areas may come under scrutiny by this group as healthcare costs continue to rise.   

The recently released report from the National Summit is available here.

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