The rising cost of health care is a serious problem. Individuals are increasingly confronted with the impossible choice between food and rent or needed care. Expensive health care also inflates the cost of doing business making it more and more difficult for some companies to compete in the global economy. For government agencies, higher Medicare costs translate to less funding available for other priorities, such as public safety, infrastructure, and education.
Research, including the excellent work being done by the Dartmouth Atlas Project, illustrates the wide variation in health care spending across the nation. Sadly, there is no evidence that higher spending corresponds to improvements in health outcomes or health care quality.
Spatial analytics can provide powerful strategies that may help reduce health care costs. Explore the interactive maps in this application to answer questions such as:
- Where is Medicare spending the highest? The lowest?
- Is higher spending related to healthier communities?
- What factors drive higher spending?
- Where might programs aimed at reducing unnecessary hospital admissions or over-prescribed testing be most effective?
- How can spatial analytics help in the design of targeted remediation strategies? Which of multiple remediation strategies might yield the broadest benefits?