There are many areas in the US-based Medicare Advantage plans, which assist low–value care without reducing the quality of healthcare for the citizens, according to a JAMA Network Open recent study.
- The study was conducted from 2006 to 2015 relying on six data sets where the researchers observed 13 low-value services in four categories, as well as a composite measure of over 11,600 regular Medicare beneficiaries and more than 5,100 Medicare Advantage receivers, were involved.
- According to the study, “Low–value care is defined as a service that provides little to no clinical benefit but incurs health care costs”.Although previous studies found that Medicare Advantage health plans allowed less low-value care than traditional Medicare did. But this was not the case in this study.
- The researchers of the study reported, “ we found that use of low- value care in MA was as prevalent as in TM during the study period, suggesting that the structure of MA may not be associated with decreases in the use of low-value care”.
- Main 13 areas of low-value care are screening of cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, Prostate cancer, antibiotics for influenza, sedatives or hypnotic medications, medications for depressions, an opioid for headache and back pain, NSAID, heart failure, radiograph for back pain, MRI, CT Scan and kidney condition.
- The rate of low-value prescriptions was statistically higher by 2.2% points for Medicare Advantage recipients. Similarly, the use of an NSAID for hypertension, heart failure, or kidney disease was 2.9% point higher for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.