First Statewide Report in Nation to Measure Choosing Wisely® Recommendations Finds Overuse and Widespread Geographic Variation

26 Sep 2014
The first statewide report in the nation to measure Choosing Wisely® recommendations finds that patients in Washington may be exposed to care they don’t need—and potential harm. The report, Less Waste, Less Harm: Choosing Wisely in Washington State, offers county-by-county results for nine different Choosing Wisely recommendations. To support physicians seeking to integrate Choosing Wisely recommendations into their practices, the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force has developed an action manual that outlines eight steps for leading change that include developing a change vision and generating short-term wins.
The results are based upon claims data representing 3.3 million lives in Washington State and was issued by the Washington Health Alliance in conjunction with the Washington State Choosing Wisely Task Force, a group of more than 20 medical leaders from the largest health care organizations in the state. The task force is co-sponsored by the Alliance, the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington State Hospital Association.
Among the key findings of the report:
  • Overuse exists. Patients may be getting unnecessary care that costs money and could potentially put them at risk.
  • Variation exists. Often the rates between the lowest and highest performing counties vary by more than twofold.
  • Where you live and the type of insurance you have (commercial vs. Medicaid) may influence the type of treatment you receive.
Read the full press release from the Washington Health Alliance here.