Disease Burden, Not Inefficiency in Care, Explains the Lion Share of Geographical Differences in Medicare Costs

June 2013, Vol 4, No 5 - Value Propositions


A novel study offers a new explanation for the geographical differences seen in Medicare costs across the nation. Unlike the explanation offered mainly by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and other research attributing geographical variations in care to waste and inefficiency in the delivery of healthcare, “our results suggest that the portion of the geographic variation that can be explained by patient health is much greater than previously estimated, leaving less of the geographic variation potentially attributable to inefficiency,” wrote James D. Reschovsky, PhD, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change, and colleagues. (Center for Studying Health System Change; May 28, 2013)