Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma

Date:
February 27, 2011
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
High-quality hospitals deliver lower-cost care to trauma patients, according to new research. The study found high-quality hospitals have death rates that are 34 percent lower, while spending nearly 22 percent less on trauma patient care than average-quality hospitals, suggesting high quality can coexist with lower cost. The reason is not clear, though.

High-quality hospitals deliver lower-cost care to trauma patients, according to a study published in the Annals of Surgery. The study found high-quality hospitals have death rates that are 34 percent lower, while spending nearly 22 percent less on trauma patient care than average-quality hospitals, suggesting high quality can coexist with lower cost.

Related Articles


The reason is not clear, though.

The research comes at a time when the affordability of health care in the United States is a major concern. According to the Congressional Budget Office, "total spending on health care could rise from 16 percent of the gross domestic product in 2007 to 25 percent in 2025 and to 37 percent in 2050." This study contributes to existing research seeking to better understand the relationship between quality and cost.

"There is a growing recognition that, when it comes to health care, we have a quality problem in this country," said Laurent G. Glance, M.D., lead study author and professor of Anesthesiology and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "We all want better quality and outcomes, and one possible theory is that achieving better quality may be less expensive in the long run."

One possible explanation for the new finding is that higher-quality hospitals may have fewer patient complications compared with lower-quality hospitals. Potentially preventable complications have been shown to result in greater rates of death, hospital length of stay and cost, so fewer complications could translate into cost savings.

While many studies have analyzed cost and quality in health care, this study looked at a unique patient population -- trauma patients of all ages. Most previous analyses, including highly regarded research from the Dartmouth Institute, have focused on the Medicare population, made up of individuals 65 years and older.

"Trauma is mainly a disease of the young, as opposed to a disease of the elderly," noted Glance, who conducts a wide range of health outcomes research.

Glance's team analyzed data from the largest inpatient database in the United States, focusing on 67,124 patients admitted to 73 trauma centers across the country in 2006. Most patients were between 40 and 50 years old, male, and admitted to a trauma center following a car crash, fall, gunshot or stab wound, or other type of serious injury.

Researchers determined hospital quality by comparing a hospital's predicted mortality rate to its actual mortality rate. Information on the injury severity, age, gender, and pre-existing illness of a hospital's patients is used to estimate a hospital's predicted mortality rate. Trauma centers whose actual mortality rates are significantly greater than their expected mortality rates are classified as low-quality hospitals. For high-quality hospitals, actual mortality rates are significantly lower than expected mortality rates.

The research team then used mathematical models to explore the association between hospital death rates and costs.

The main limitation of the study is its design -- it only provides a snapshot of trauma care quality and cost in the United States. Researchers cannot conclude increasing quality will result in lower costs. Glance said more research is needed to explore the link.

In addition to Glance, Andrew W. Dick, Ph.D., RAND, Pittsburgh; Turner M. Osler, M.D., University of Vermont Medical College; Wayne Meredith, M.D., Wake Forrest University School of Medicine; and Dana B. Mukamel, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, participated in the research. The study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laurent G. Glance, Andrew W. Dick, Turner M. Osler, Wayne Meredith, Dana B. Mukamel. The Association Between Cost and Quality in Trauma. Annals of Surgery, 2010; 252 (2): 217 DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181e623f6

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222092650.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2011, February 27). High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222092650.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222092650.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) If a doctor advises you to remove gluten from your diet, you could get a tax deduction on the amount you spend on gluten-free foods. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis Try Swapping Success

GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis Try Swapping Success

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis have completed a series of asset swaps worth more than $20 billion. As Grace Pascoe reports they say the deal will reshape both drugmakers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Can West Africa Rebuild After Ebola?

How Can West Africa Rebuild After Ebola?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) How best to rebuild the three West African countries struggling with Ebola will be discussed in Brussels this week. As Hayley Platt reports Sierra Leone has the toughest job ahead - its once thriving economy has been ravaged by the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins