Expanding Health Care Coverage

Project Title

Spreading Best Practices to Reduce Geographic Variation and Health Care Costs in New York State

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Date Awarded

November 19, 2009


Central NY





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.

The Maxwell School will use data from this analysis to generate regional roundtable discussions among physician leaders and hospital executives to: 1) uncover the reasons that lead to variation within the State’s regions; 2) identify those treatment styles and approaches used in the lower cost, higher quality regions; and 3) encourage physicians and hospitals—particularly those providing higher cost, lower quality care—to adopt those best practices.