Common Instances of Low-value Care in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Oct 23:S1542-3565(23)00845-5.doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2023.09.043. Online ahead of print.


Siddharth Singh 1Fernando S Velayos 2David T Rubin 3


Author information

1Division of Gastroenterology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California; Division of Biomedical Informatics, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California. Electronic address: sis040@ucsd.edu.

2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, California.

3University of Chicago Medicine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Chicago, Illinois.


Value-based care focuses on improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care while controlling costs. Low-value care implies services or interventions that provide little or no benefit to patients, have the potential to cause harm, incur unnecessary cost to patients, or waste limited health care resources. In this review, we discuss common instances of low-value care along the spectrum of management in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). These include low value care in: (1) diagnosis and monitoring of IBD: utilization of serological markers to screen and diagnose IBD, over-reliance on symptoms for monitoring disease, failure to employ treat-to-target strategies in symptomatic patients with IBD, and annual surveillance colonoscopies in patients at low risk of developing dysplasia; (2) treatment of IBD: use of 5-aminosalicylates in Crohn's disease, continuation of 5-aminosalicylates after escalation to immunosuppressive therapy, chronic corticosteroid use without steroid-sparing strategies, step therapy for Crohn's disease, failure to optimize tumor necrosis factor antagonists in patients with active disease and subsequently de-intensification of therapies in those who have achieved stable remission; and (3) management of hospitalized patients with IBD: routine cross-sectional imaging for patients with IBD presenting to the emergency department, withholding pharmacological prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism in patients hospitalized with IBD flare, and prolonged use of high-dose intravenous corticosteroids in patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis. This review is meant to bring attention to value-based care in IBD and provide guidance to treating practitioners. Future studies on systematic evaluation of high- and low-value care in patients with IBD are warranted.

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