Understanding Geographic Variation in Health Care Costs for Privately Insured Patients and Medicare Beneficiaries

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Medicare utilization and spending are known to vary from region to region and have been the subject of extensive analysis. Patterns of use and spending in commercial insurance markets, however, are not as well understood-and even less is known about the relation between Medicare and private spending, and how and why that relationship varies across geographic areas. Using claims data from Medicare and commercial claims data from large employers, this project will examine the factors related to variation in Medicare and private spending across hospital referral regions. Understanding more about these factors will enhance policymakers' ability to develop more effective policies to constrain health spending and align payment incentives across the health system.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
President and Fellows of Harvard College
Principal Investigator:
Michael Chernew, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
$290,270.00
Approval Date:
July 13, 2010

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