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Researchers examined spending records of 72,042 physicians at more than 3,000 acute care hospitals. The patients were fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older treated between January 2011 and the end of 2014.

The investigators calculated spending in the first two years, and tracked outcomes in the last two. They concentrated on the types of spending controlled by doctor choice — tests, procedures, imaging studies and so on. The study is in JAMA Internal Medicine.

After adjusting for the varying characteristics of the hospitals, they found that spending among physicians varied by as much as 10.5 percent.

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Image: By Jericho – http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash-113445826, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11480660

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