HAC IN DEPTH: Different City, Different Treatment: Saving Money and Improving Care in North Carolina

North Carolina could save millions in health costs with more efficient, patient-centered care. From community to community in North Carolina there is great variation in the frequency of surgical procedures – variation that can't be explained by disease rates or factors such as age, sex, or race.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Neighboring communities across North Carolina have widely different surgery rates. This variation can't be explained by disease rates, the availability of medical care, or the poverty level of different communities.
  • Physician preference is driving care even when multiple, valid treatment options exist for a given diagnosis.
  • By studying and limiting this variation the state could save money and give patients more control over their own health care.
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