Study looks to curb spending on wasteful medical services in Virginia

Study looks to curb spending on wasteful medical services in Virginia
In 2017, Virginia clinicians provided $747 million worth of wasteful services to patients, according to the Virginia Center for Health Innovation.

In 2017, Virginia clinicians provided $747 million worth of wasteful services to patients, according to the Virginia Center for Health Innovation.

Those services ranged from ordering tests and images before low-risk surgeries to unnecessarily screening for vitamin D deficiencies.

The tests can take an unnecessary toll on the patients, who may anxiously wait for the results or even receive a false positive.

VCHI this month received a $2.2 million grant to tackle unnecessary medical spending in Virginia from Arnold Ventures, a private foundation that states it is “dedicated to improving lives through evidence-based solutions.”

The three-year grant will fund VCHI’s work with six participating health systems: Ballad Health, Carilion Clinic, HCA Virginia, Inova Health System, Sentara Healthcare and VCU Health System.

By using data from Virginia Health Information, which runs the state’s All Payer Claims Database, VCHI will look at the numbers for those six systems by clinician, run reports using a tool that calculates wasteful spending and send those reports to each of the systems so they can evaluate and address the problems.

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.