Improving Patient Decision-Making: Middle Atlantic Region

A 2012 Dartmouth Atlas Report

In this Dartmouth Atlas report, the second in a series of nine U.S. regional reports, we show the wide regional variation in the likelihood that patients with similar conditions receive elective procedures. This report highlights the Middle Atlantic region (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and shows the variation across the region and the United States.

For patients whose conditions can be treated with elective surgery, location matters.  For example, if you have heart disease and live in York, Pennsylvania, you are half as likely to undergo balloon angioplasty than if you live in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and twice as likely to undergo back surgery than if you live in Philadelphia. If you have osteoarthritis of the knee and live in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, you are three times more likely to have your knee replaced than if you live in Brooklyn. 

This report, a collaborative project with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, looks at the variation in surgical rates in 306 hospital referral regions across the United States (a hospital referral region is a large health care market containing at least one referral hospital).

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