The state of overuse measurement: A critical review

Kitty S Chan, Eva Chang, Najlla Nassery, Hsien Yen Chang, Jodi B. Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Health care overuse contributes to unnecessary expenditures and patient exposure to harm. Understanding and addressing this problem requires a comprehensive set of valid metrics. This article describes and critiques the current state of overuse measurement through a review of the published and gray literature, measures clearinghouses and ongoing work by major measure developers. Our review identified 37 fully specified measures and 123 measurement development opportunities. Many services were considered overuse due to the extension of diagnostic or screening services to low-risk populations. There were more diagnostic or therapeutic overuse measures than for screening or monitoring/surveillance. Imaging services is a major focus of current measures, but opportunities exist to expand overuse measurement in medication, laboratory services. Future development of overuse measures would benefit from new empirical research and clinical guidelines focused on identifying indications or populations for which there is likely to be no or low benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-496
Number of pages24
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • health care costs
  • health care overuse
  • inappropriate care
  • performance measurement
  • quality measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'The state of overuse measurement: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this