Primary Care Clinicians’ Perspectives on Reducing Low-Value Care in an Integrated Delivery System
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CONTEXT: Perceptions about low-value care (eg, medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary and/or harmful) among clinicians with capitated salaries are unknown. OBJECTIVE: Explore clinicians' perceived use of and responsibility for reducing low-value care by focusing on barriers to use, awareness of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and response to reports of peer-comparison resource use and practice patterns. METHODS: Electronic, cross-sectional survey, distributed in 2013, to 304 salaried primary care physicians and physician assistants at Group Health Cooperative. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Attitudes, awareness, and barriers of low-value care strategies and initiatives. RESULTS: A total of 189 clinicians responded (62% response rate). More than 90% believe cost is important to various stakeholders and believe it is fair to ask clinicians to be cost-conscious. Most found peer-comparison resource-use reports useful for understanding practice patterns and prompting peer discussions. Two-thirds of clinicians were aware of the Choosing Wisely campaign; among them, 97% considered it a legitimate information source. Although 88% reported being comfortable discussing low-value care with patients, 80% reported they would order tests or procedures when a patient insisted. As key barriers in reducing low-value care, clinicians identified time constraints (45%), overcoming patient preferences/values (44%), community standards (43%), fear of patients' dissatisfaction (41%), patients' knowledge about the harms of low-value care (38%), and availability of tools to support shared decision making (37%). CONCLUSIONS: Salaried clinicians are aware of rising health care costs and want to be stewards of limited health care resources. Evidence-based initiatives such as the Choosing Wisely campaign may help motivate clinicians to be conscientious stewards of limited health care resources.
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