"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Geography Does Matter

First off, I forgot about yesterday's blog until I was walking out the door after a long day that started at about 3:30 AM.  Lots of meetings, including a Finance Committee meeting and a Board meeting.  So, my apologies. 

In this week's issue of Modern Healthcare, there is an article "For better or worse - Where you live affects the type of healthcare you're going to get."  The article describes the first-ever scorecard on local health system performance done by the Commonwealth Fund. It tracked 43 indicators covering 4 dimensions of care: access, prevention and treatment, cost and avoidable reuse and, lastly, health outcomes.  There are strong geographic patterns of performance with the Northeast and Upper Midwest being in the top quartile and the Deep South being the lowest performing region in all categories.  Allegany County, Maryland, received a top quartile score overall with access and prevention \ treatment scoring in the top quartile, cost and readmissions scoring in the third quartile (obviously there is room for improvement) and health outcomes scoring in the second quartile.  In both the areas of cost \ readmission as well as health outcomes, there are numerous initiatives underway at WMHS to bring almost immediate improvement to these areas.  The results were a pleasant surprise and it shows that all of our efforts in changing how we do business are finally paying off.

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