Hospital services

AHA responds to Lown Institute report on ‘unnecessary’ hospital services

The last Lown Institute Report the ranking of hospitals on so-called “unnecessary” services contains many of the same flaws as last year’s report, says Aaron Wesolowski, AHA vice president, policy research, analysis and strategy.

“The fact is that hospitals, health systems and their caregivers have been on the front lines from day one of the pandemic, providing care for all patients who have come through their doors, while facing financial and unprecedented operations”, notes Wesolowski. “Throughout the pandemic, but especially in the first few months, many non-essential services and procedures have been postponed due to government restrictions or voluntary actions by hospitals to make way for massive waves of COVID-19 patients. . Studies have shown that these delays or sometimes even cancellations of elective care have had negative effects on the health and well-being of patients, who continue to present to hospital sicker and with more advanced illnesses. Many of these services can provide patient pain relief or other patient support. Lown may define these services as “low value,” but they can be invaluable to the patients who receive them.

“Furthermore, this latest installment in Lown’s ongoing series of misleading reports has many of the same limitations and flaws as last year’s Unnecessary Services report, including, but not limited to, the narrow focus on Medicare patients, use of claims data only, and glaring flaws in methodology.