Navigation Links
Regional analysis masks substantial local variation in health care spending
Date:10/31/2012

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 31, 2012 Reforming Medicare payments based on large geographic regions may be too bluntly targeted to promote the best use of health care resources, a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health suggests. The analysis will be published in the Nov. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Much policy attention has been drawn to the large geographic variation in health care spending across regions, and for good reason because regional variation points to inefficient use of resources," said lead author Yuting Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor of health economics at Pitt Public Health. "But it is important to effectively target these policies to reduce overutilization while maintaining access to high-quality care."

Policies that are too widely focused, such as at the larger regional level, could leave many high-spending locales untouched while inadvertently penalizing some low-spending locales. However, policies that are too finely focused, such as at the physician-level, could miss system-level factors that account for high utilization in some areas, Dr. Zhang said.

Previous geographic variation analyses primarily focused on regional areas, such as the hospital referral regions (HRRs) described in the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. The United States can be divided into 306 HRRs, which are areas served by large tertiary hospitals where patients are referred for major cardiovascular surgical procedures and for neurosurgery.

The HRRs can be further divided into 3,436 Dartmouth hospital-service areas (HSAs), where residents receive most of their hospital care from the hospitals in the area.

Dr. Zhang and her colleagues used enrollment, pharmacy claims and medical claims data from 2006 through 2009 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a 5 percent random sample of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in stand-alone Part D plans. The study sample included about 1 million beneficiaries each year.

"We found substantial misalignment of high-spending HSAs and HRRs, after adjusting for population difference across regions," Dr. Zhang said. "Many low-spending HSAs are located within high-spending HRRs, and many high-spending HSAs are located within low-spending HRRs."

Only about half of the HSAs located within the highest-spending fifth of HRRs are themselves in the highest spending fifth of HSAs. Conversely, only about half of the highest-spending fifth of HSAs were located within the highest-spending fifth of HRRs.

For example, Manhattan was one of the HRRs with the highest drug spending in the nation, while Albuquerque was one of the lowest, after adjusting for population difference in the regions. However, the lowest-spending HSA in Manhattan had lower spending than about a quarter of the HSAs within Albuquerque.

"If a reform policy targeted the Manhattan HRR for lower Medicare payments, it would penalize low-spending local hospitals while missing the higher-spending local hospitals within the Manhattan HRR," Dr. Zhang said.

Using their analysis, Dr. Zhang and her colleagues could not determine the "right" level to target policy reforms, but suggest that focusing exclusively on the regional level is too blunt.


'/>"/>
Contact: Allison Hydzik & Cyndy McGrath
HydzikAM@upmc.edu
412-647-9975
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Is it time for regional cardiovascular emergency care systems across the US?
2. Program to coordinate regional systems to speed heart attack care
3. Patient Experience Regional Roundtables Announced by The Beryl Institute
4. Regional anesthesia reduces complications and death for hip fracture patients
5. Use of regional PACS network associated with lower repeat rates, costs and less radiation exposure
6. Lung Cancer Screening Might Pay Off, Analysis Shows
7. SomaLogic publishes proteomic biomarker analysis of lung cancer tissue samples
8. Analysis Finds Clinical Trials Often Small, of Poor Quality
9. Zinc Pills May Shorten Colds, Analysis Suggests
10. Biochip-based device for cell analysis
11. Analysis will examine safety of in-hospital underwater births
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The ... funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series ... again host, Swirl, A Wine Tasting Event at the La Gorce Country Club ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... use and find themselves having to wait longer to access the treadmills. It’s a ... New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get in shape by joining gyms, starting ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... At its ... of Patrick McDermott as Chairman of the National Board of Directors. Mr. McDermott succeeds ... of the Board,” stated Leslie A. Chambers , APDA President and CEO. “Pat ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... Move from on one drop zone to the next using Colorize's dynamic moving camera. ... any project. This package includes a 3D slideshow environment with 1 to 5 focus ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... On June ... Diseases, a continuing medical education (CME) event presented by the Association for Comprehensive ... a first for ACCORD, whose mission is to provide education, tools, and resources ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ("Aralez") ... POZEN Inc. ("POZEN") and Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. ("Tribute") following ... shareholders of Tribute. The combined company will operate under ... with operations in Canada , ... States . Under the terms of the Agreement ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ... CEO, will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive ... at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, ... discussion taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. http://www.aethlonmedical.com ... hour after the conclusion of the live event. The panel ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... New York , February 5, 2016 ... new Transparency Market Research report states that the global ... in 2014 and is predicted to reach US$185.9 bn ... CAGR of 6.50% from 2014 to 2020. The title ... (Branded/Generic/Over-the-counter, Chemical/Biological, Captive/Contract Manufactured, by Geography, and by Therapeutic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: