Table of Contents
Research shows that spending on health care varies by geographic area and that higher spending in an area is not always associated with better quality of care. While a substantial body of research exists on geographic variation in spending in Medicare, less research has been done on variation in private sector health care spending, although this spending accounts for about a third of overall health care spending.
As U.S. health expenditures continue to rise, policymakers and others have expressed interest in better understanding spending variation and how health care systems can operate efficiently—that is, providing equivalent or higher quality care while maintaining or lowering current spending levels. This book examines how spending per episode of care for certain high-cost procedures varies across geographic areas for private payers; and how the mix of service types, and the volume, intensity, and price of services contribute to variation in episode spending across geographic areas for private payers.