Table 1

Frequency of low-value services in Alberta between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2015

Patients receiving each low-value service (n)Denominator (number of Albertans in each defined population)Count (per 1000 at-risk person years)Percentage of ‘at-risk’ people receiving this low-value care at least once in the 3 yearsp Value for comparison across regions
All of AlbertaMetro EdmontonMetro CalgaryFive regional centresRural
1. PSA testing for men 75 or older with no history of prostate cancer (n=55 603)100 227428.455.558.453.255.554.5<0.001
2. Routine cancer screening (breast, cervical, colon, prostate) in dialysis patients 75 years or older (n=211)1073148.819.817.622.314.021.80.11
3. Cervical cancer screening for women over 65 with no history of cervical dysplasia or genital cancer (n=43 855)279 11667.515.717.917.012.812.4<0.001
4. BMD testing within 2 years of prior scan (n=31 616)271 854 with a BMD test39.611.612.811.311.010.2<0.001
5. Hypercoagulability testing in patients with first DVT/PE (n=744)21 31113.<0.001
6. Preoperative coronary CT scan or cardiac stress tests before non-cardiac surgery (n=7259)698 683 undergoing non-cardiac surgery4.<0.001
7. Colorectal cancer screening in people 75 years or older (n=3692)218 8826.<0.001
7a. Colorectal cancer screening for people 85 years or older (n=137)45 5771.<0.001
8. Homocysteine testing without B12 or folate testing or history of B12/folate deficiency (n=10 499)2 585 8321.<0.001
9. Carotid artery imaging but without history of stroke or TIA (n=2698)3 162 394 adult Albertans without history of stroke or TIA0.<0.001
10. Carotid artery imaging for patients with syncope but no history of stroke or TIA (n=352)74 0601.<0.001
  • BMD, bone mineral density; PSA, prostate-specific antigen.