Reviewer: Joel B. Puleo, MHA (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This book contains statistical outpatient hospital and nonhospital utilization and financial data for the Medicare population with key performance measures. It is primarily a detailed statistical report/book providing comparative data. This is a second edition.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an analysis and comparison of provider performance in an outpatient setting. The book is needed by both provider and payer to assess comparative status, evaluate standards, and set benchmarks. The book meets these objectives by providing significant statistical information on most frequently used diagnoses.
Audience: This book was written with hospital providers, statisticians, health care researchers, and financial managers as intended users. The organization of data and performance measures selected will provide this audience with ample material to use. The sources of data are credible.
Features: The purpose and intent determine the tables. The four measures provide the necessary illustrations, graphs, and tables in a simple and easy to use format. Sources are credible and relatively current, but require more information on methodology. Table of contents is simple and appropriate. The book is excellently sized and formatted.
Assessment: Although the primary objectives are met in providing a reference and analysis tool for providers and other health care players, the book falls short of identifying any physician outpatient utilization activity, a key to understanding assessing and evaluating utilization, costs, and other factors. Further breakdown of average charges would be beneficial to evaluate and compare types of costs (charges). Further identification and description of other outpatient settings is important to understand and use the data more effectively.