"Up to 30% of Medicare spending is wasted on needless care."
"After adjusting for differences in health, income, medical price and other factors, the Dartmouth researchers’ overall conclusion is that the more costly areas and institutions provide a lot more tests, services and intensive hospital-based care than the lower cost centers. Yet their patients fare no better and often fare worse because they suffer from the over-treatment."
This is from a NY Times editorial (June 13, 2009) that I believe is actually referring to variation research at Dartmouth, begun by Jack Wemberg. As an example--
Katherine Baicker, Amitabh Chandra [Dartmouth] "Medicare Spending, The Physician Workforce, And Beneficiaries’ Quality Of Care." Health Affairs, 10.1377/hlthaff.w4.184 [Posted 4/7/04]
The quality of care received by Medicare beneficiaries varies across areas. We find that states with higher Medicare spending have lower-quality care. This negative relationship may be driven by the use of intensive, costly care that crowds out the use of more effective care. One mechanism for this trade-off may be the mix of the provider workforce: States with more general practitioners use more effective care and have lower spending, while those with more specialists have higher costs and lower quality. Improving the quality of beneficiaries’ care could be accomplished with more effective use of existing dollars.