Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

The Maxwell School Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

April 2013

Grant Amount

$233,663

Grant Date:

January 2010 – August 2011

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Large geographic variations in health care spending are well documented, most famously using Medicare data analyzed by the Dartmouth Atlas.

While New York is one of the costliest states overall for Medicare, the Dartmouth Atlas suggests that large variations in spending and health outcomes exist within the State. Identifying best care practices in New York and within specific regions of the State has the potential to influence physician and hospital practice patterns at the regional and State level, and ultimately reduce health care spending. In 2010, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded the Maxwell School Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University (the Maxwell School) a grant to use the Dartmouth Atlas to analyze New York’s health care spending and health outcome patterns.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Addressed limitations with the Dartmouth Atlas data by supplementing it with data from Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System and Medicare hospital cost reports.
  • Revised its study plan to analyze hospitals in five peer groups: major teaching, minor teaching, urban, rural, and critical access.
  • Conducted site visits at six hospitals around the State and interviewed hospital leadership to further explore the reasons behind the variation in cost.
  • Published its findings in a report, “Beyond the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care: Exploring Variations in Inpatient Hospital Costs in New York State – the Cases of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).”
  • Concluded that each hospital has a unique environment and requires a tailored approach to improving the value of its health care.

Read the report associated with this grant, “Beyond the Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare: Exploring Variations in Inpatient Hospital Costs in New York State.”