Wide variation in quality and costs for inpatient medical care suggest substantial opportunities for improvement. Several investigators at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy are investigating the comparative effectiveness of different policy options for improving outcomes and reducing costs. Our portfolio includes externally funded projects evaluating the impact of several policies implemented by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including selective referral (e.g., national coverage decisions), bundled payment, pay-for-performance, and outcomes feedback.
Another line of work evaluates the impact of physician and hospital organization, such as integrated health care systems and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), on the quality and efficiency of surgical care. We are also interested in understanding the unintended consequences of policy implementation, including the potential adverse impact on access and outcomes for vulnerable populations. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand which policy options work best at improving care for a broad range of healthcare conditions.