611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

NurseWise 24-Hour Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

NurseWise 24-Hr Crisis Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
ASCO Addresses Cancer Drug PricingHigh Court Rules Against Interstate Medical LiabilityFewer U.S. Dollars Spent on Cardiac Arrest Research: StudyPainkiller Prescriptions More Prone to Errors If HandwrittenFDA Panel OKs What May Soon Be First Gene Therapy Approved in U.S.Walking Rates Are Key to a Country's Obesity LevelsDocs Should Counsel Even Healthy People on Diet, Exercise, Experts SayHealth Service Use Unchanged From 1996-1997 to 2011-2012Easier Colon Exam Boosts Screening, But Insurers May Not PayMore U.S. Patients Are Recording Their Doctor VisitsMedication Mistakes Have Doubled in U.S. Since 2000: StudyPatient Involvement Can Cut Errors in X-Ray ImagingMarket Competition Linked to Change in Generic Drug PricesBlood Shortage Prompts Call for DonationsBullying Takes Financial Toll on U.S. School DistrictsPoll Finds Seniors Struggling With Drug Costs Don't Seek HelpMany U.S. Teens Still Denied 'Morning After' Pill at PharmaciesOlder Americans Struggling With Drug Costs Don't Ask for HelpDoctors Urged to Take Care With Electronic CommunicationsClimate Change Likely to Widen Gap Between Rich, Poor in U.S.: StudyFDA Seeks to Increase Number of Generic Drugs on Market3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD DeathsPhysician Attitude Important Factor in Patients Switching PCPMany Adverse Events Related to Cosmetics Go UnreportedStudy Highlights the Beauty Industry's Ugly SideMedicaid Cuts Tied to Delayed Breast Cancer DiagnosesPrimary Care Pharmacy Model Attractive to Patients1991-2014 Saw Minimal Change in Health Spending Per StateLegalized Pot May Lead to More Traffic CrashesMany Doctors Silent on Cost of Cancer CareGroup Urges Tougher Limits on Chemical in Shampoos, Cosmetics18 Percent Increase Projected in Primary Care Demand by 2023Why Patients Leave the Hospital Against Doctor's OrdersRaise the Smoking Age to 21? Most Kids Fine With ThatComprehensive Audiologic Care Feasible in Free Clinic ModelMany Tanning Salons Defy Legal Age Limits on UsersLifesaving Drugs From Pfizer in Short Supply: FDALeading U.S. Doctors' Group Takes Aim at Rising Drug PricesU.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: StudyFDA Puts Brakes on Rule Requiring New 'Nutrition Facts' LabelCardiac Arrest? Someday, Drones May Come to Your RescueSAMHSA: 9.8 Million U.S. Adults Have Serious Mental IllnessFDA Asks Maker of Opioid Painkiller Opana ER to Pull Drug From MarketHealth System Sees Success With E-Visits Via Patient PortalOvercharging Common in U.S. Emergency RoomsAdvocating for a Loved OneHigh Costs for Myeloma Patients Not Getting Low-Income SubsidyGetting Bedbugs Out of Nursing Homes, Apartment Buildings - for GoodCosts of ER Treatments a Mystery to Many DocsNew Bill Intends to Repeal Limits on Physician-Owned Hospitals
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Higher Spending by Docs May Not Buy Better Health

HealthDay News
by By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 13th 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, March 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just because your doctor orders more -- or more high-priced -- tests and procedures when you're in the hospital doesn't mean that you get better care, a new study suggests.

Medicare patients treated by higher-spending physicians are just as likely to be re-admitted or die within 30 days of being admitted to the hospital as patients treated by doctors who order fewer or less-expensive tests and treatments, the study revealed.

"Spending more doesn't always mean you get better health," senior study author Dr. Anupam Jena, of Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.

Health care spending in the United States varies widely from one region to the next, and even across hospitals within the same community, studies have shown.

However, this new analysis is believed to be the first to assess spending differences between physicians within the same hospital, and patient outcomes.

Among "hospitalists" -- who treat patients while they're in the hospital -- average adjusted spending per hospitalization varied by more than 40 percent between the highest- and lowest-spending physicians.

Researchers don't fully understand what's driving spending differences between physicians.

Study author Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa said it could be random.

"One doctor is more expensive, one doctor is less expensive, and both doctors are delivering equivalent quality of care and equivalent patient outcomes," he explained.

Tsugawa is a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

It's also possible that less-experienced doctors are ordering more tests and imaging studies to fill in the gap of their experience, he added.

Researchers don't know how much wasteful spending is occurring.

Tsugawa said it's important to identify and weed out "low-value" services that don't benefit patients, such as prescribing antibiotics for viral infections like the flu or ordering MRI scans for chronic low back pain.

The study was published online March 13 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, the investigators looked at average physician spending using a random sample of Medicare patients, aged 65 and older, who were hospitalized for a non-elective condition.

The analysis focused on general internists -- the largest group of doctors in the United States -- and hospitalists.

Physician spending was calculated using 2011 and 2012 data and then applied to patient outcomes in 2013 and 2014. (Using different time periods reduces the chances that a physician treating sicker patients in one year would affect that doctor's spending estimates, the researchers explained.)

Spending across physicians in a single hospital varied more than across hospitals, even after accounting for differences between hospitals and patient populations, the study found.

Overall, 8.4 percent of the spending variation could be explained by differences between physicians, while 7 percent was associated with differences between hospitals, the findings showed.

However, higher spending didn't result in better outcomes. The researchers said they found no difference in 30-day re-admissions or patient deaths -- two key quality-of-care indicators.

The study authors concluded that policies targeting physicians within hospitals "may be more effective in reducing wasteful spending than policies focusing solely on hospitals."

One health care cost expert agreed.

Targeting physician and hospital variation "is clearly worth pursuing," said Gerard Anderson, a professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

"However, it is not clear how to do this," said Anderson, who was not involved in the study.

Hospitals began monitoring physician spending patterns years ago using patients' length of stay, and over the years the list of measures has expanded, Anderson said.

Emerging reforms seek to align doctor payments with their performance, the study authors noted.

Beginning in 2019, for example, Medicare will begin rewarding or penalizing physicians on the quality and cost efficiency of care they provide.

Medicare is also shifting to a payment model that rewards hospitals for value over volume of care by bundling payment for all services associated with a particular type of care, such as hip replacements.

"As we move towards bundled payments, it is now appropriate to start looking at overall spending associated with the physicians," Anderson said.

More information

Click here to learn more about Medicare Part B physician services.