HealthMETRICS Partners, Inc. article in AJMC Documents the Variation in the Delivery of Medical Services That Wastes Over 20 Cents of Every Dollar Spent
Lexington, Massachusetts (May 26, 2010) — HealthMetrics Partners today announced the publication of a ground-breaking article assessing medical cost and quality, which are pivotal to the national healthcare debate, in the May issue of the American Journal of Managed Care. The article documents that variation in the delivery of clinical services leads to wide variations in costs that are not correlated with improved quality of care.
According to lead author, Charles Moore, President and CEO of HealthMETRICS, “This article demonstrates that by examining a few key measurements that are fundamental to healthcare delivery, costs may be reduced, nationally, by over 20% while providing excellent quality of care. The healthcare debate has focused on issues of universal health insurance coverage, preventive care, fraud and abuse, and tort reform, but an issue just as important is the extensive waste that is incorporated into the delivery system.”
The article uses a common, very high volume service as an example of the application of this strategy. Family planning services are used by 17 million women per year in publicly funded clinics. The unit cost for the most common family planning visit varied from $42 to $206. Controlling for service variables and adjusting for regional economic difference, cost variation was found to be almost entirely attributable to the different processes used to provide care. There was no correlation between the cost and quality of care, indicating that excellent care can be achieved at lower cost.
Moore concludes “Currently healthcare managers lack information about their processes of healthcare delivery—especially what components of the process are critical to excellent outcomes and what components just add to costs. HealthMETRICS has repeatedly identified similar opportunities for cost savings in a wide variety of medical services.”