Physician Prescription Error Frequency Linked to Location
"In sum, according to HEDIS measures of potentially dangerous prescribing patterns, the quality of prescribing for the elderly varies substantially among local markets—substantially more in fact than does spending on drugs overall," Zhang and colleagues state.
"Our results do not support the theory that high spending areas simply use more of everything, including inappropriate drugs, since the association between overall drug spending and inappropriate prescribing is weak."
Zhang says she plans to do more work on the issue. Co-authors include Katherine Baicker and Joseph Newhouse, both of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Policy.
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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