Low-value care is having a moment. Low-value care is actually having several moments of reflection, but is that translating to action? A recent JAMA Network editorial article, “The Next Frontier of Less Is More—From Description to Implementation,” calls out how incentives to reduce low-value care are lacking at the health system level and describes how one of the proposed fixes is quality measurement.
Most quality measures reward providing more care and few focus on reducing care. This is expected given the balance sought in the quality community to prevent overemphasis on cost leading to care stinting. In the article, the authors point out how quality measures that incentivize reducing low-value care could be paired with education initiatives for clinical teams and patients. They also explain that more care does not always net more health value, but actually may cause harm.
Much is said about having the right care, for the right patient, at the right time. Measure developers and program implementers should prioritize measures that reward reducing low-value care to support a system moving from reflection to action.