May 21, 2021

UW Health ranked among best in the nation for avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures

Madison, Wis. — A new ranking from the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, lists UW Health/University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics among the best in the U.S. for avoiding overuse of low-value tests and procedures.

Released earlier this month, the Lown Institute Hospitals Index is the first ranking of its kind to apply overuse criteria to over 3,100 U.S. hospitals nationwide. Overuse is defined as the delivery of tests and procedures that provide little or no clinical benefit, are unlikely to have an impact on clinician decisions, increase health care spending without improving health outcomes, or risk patient harm in excess of potential benefits. Estimates suggest that overuse contributes $75.7 billion — $101.2 billion to wasted US health care spending annually.

UW Health (University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics) ranked in the following categories:

  • #1 Hospital in Wisconsin for avoiding overuse

  • #1 Hospital nationally for avoiding overuse of hysterectomies for benign conditions

  • Top 10 national major teaching hospital at avoiding overuse (#9)

  • Top 20 Hospitals in the country at avoiding overuse (#19)

"As an academic medical center, we take great pride in providing patients with the best available evidence-based care as well as an outstanding patient- and family-centered experience,” said Dr. Aimee Becker, chief medical officer at UW Health. "At UW Health, that means recognizing that ordering more tests and procedures is not always congruent with optimal care or the best outcomes. Our ranking on the issue is evidence that we are providing the right care for our patients, all while being good stewards of public healthcare dollars."

The Index is based on research published in April in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open. The Institute’s research found that more than 1 million tests and procedures performed in hospitals on Medicare patients from 2016-2018 met established criteria for overuse. Only hospitals with the capacity to do four or more services were ranked.