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HPC DataPoints Series

The HPC is pleased to introduce HPC DataPoints, a series of online briefs that will spotlight new research and data findings relevant to the HPC's mission to drive down the cost of health care. 
HPC DataPoints


HPC DataPoints will showcase brief overviews and interactive graphics on relevant health policy topics. The analysis underlying these briefs is conducted by staff on the HPC's Research and Cost Trends team. As you read through HPC DataPoints, we encourage you to engage with the interactive graphics by hovering your mouse over different data points to obtain additional information. Please note that the interactive graphics will not appear in Internet Explorer. 

To see DataPoints issues, please click the links below:

Issue 6: Provider Organization Performance Variation (March 1, 2018)

  • After adjusting for differing health needs, spending for patients in the highest-cost organization was 32 percent higher than in the lowest-cost organization. 
  • Among categories of service, hospital outpatient services saw the greatest spending variation, both in total spending and across provider groups. 
  • Patients whose PCPs are associated with the Southcoast Health System are from the lowest-income areas in the state and have the highest health risk, 9 percent above the statewide average. These patients also had the highest rates of hypertension (18.5 percent), cardiovascular disease (15.6 percent), and diabetes (6.7 percent).

Issue 5: Quality Measurement Misalignment in Massachusetts (January 10, 2018)

  • The three largest MA commercial payers vary in their scope of quality measure use in APM contracts; one payer reported use of 26 measures in at least ten APM contracts while the others reported use of over 40 measures in at least ten APM contracts.
  • Only 17 quality measures are used in at least ten APM contracts by all three payers, including two common outcome measures.

Issue 4: The growing opioid epidemic in Massachusetts hospitals (July 26, 2017)

  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of opioid-related hospital (ED and inpatient) discharges grew drastically, by 18%.
  • A new, interactive map displays the rate of opioid-related hospital discharges by zip code and provides new insights into the disproportionate impact of the opioid epidemic on certain residents, communities, and hospitals.
  • Young adults experienced the sharpest increase in discharges, rising by 192% from 2011 to 2015.

Issue 3: The ACA’s Preventative Coverage Mandate and MA (June 26, 2017)

  • Average out-of-pocket spending by women for prescription drugs declined 14.2% from 2011-2014.

Issue 2: Avoidable Emergency Department Use in Massachusetts (May 23, 2017)

  • 42% of all ED visits in Massachusetts in 2015 were avoidable with fairly consistent rates throughout the Commonwealth in 2015.

Issue 1: Update on preventable oral health ED visits in MA (April 27, 2017)

  • The HPC identified 33,467 oral health ED visits in Massachusetts in 2015.
  • The HPC found a five-fold regional variation in the number of oral health ED visits per population.


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