coronary stent
2023 Results

Avoiding Overuse: Coronary Stents

How professional inertia harms patients and wastes billions of dollars

VIDEO: Our October 31, 2023 launch event featuring David L Brown, MD, clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Keck Medicine of USC; Betty Rambur, PhD, RN, FAAN, Routhier Endowed Chair for Practice, professor of nursing at the University of Rhode Island; Thomas Power, MD, senior medical director of cardiology and sleep programs at Carelon Medical Benefits Management; and Dr.Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute.

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is the first to evaluate how well individual hospitals avoid overuse of common low-value tests and procedures. The Institute measured overuse of coronary stents at 1,773 hospitals with the capacity to perform the procedure using Medicare claims data from 2019-2021.  (press release | methodology)

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. hospitals performed over 229,000 unnecessary coronary stents from 2019-2021. That’s a rate of one every seven minutes.
  • Of the approximately 1 million stents placed by hospitals, 22 percent met criteria for overuse.
  • Medicare wasted as much as $2.44 billion on unnecessary stents from 2019-2021.
  • Rates of overuse varied widely: at some hospitals, more than 50 percent of all stents met criteria for overuse, while at others, fewer than 5 percent were unnecessary.



Media inquiries should be directed to Aaron Toleos, vice president of communications for the Lown Institute, at