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Comment & Response |

Preventable Acute Care Spending for Medicare Patients

Scott G. Weiner, MD, MPH1; Peter B. Smulowitz, MD, MPH2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2013;310(18):1984-1985. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278598.
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To the Editor Dr Joynt and colleagues1 demonstrated limitations in cost savings achievable by reducing emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations for some of the most common preventable diseases faced by Medicare patients in a high-cost group.

However, the study used an algorithm created by Billings et al2 to define preventable visits as those ED diagnosis codes that were determined to be nonemergent; emergent but primary care treatable; and emergent, ED care needed, but preventable.

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November 13, 2013
Karen E. Joynt, MD, MPH; Atul A. Gawande, MD, MPH; Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2013;310(18):1985. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278607.
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