The Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment has launched a new, open source, web-based tool that enables large organizations to visualize their health care spending and identify areas with a high utilization of low-value health care services. Low-value care consists of services that provide minimal benefits to a patient and cumulatively contribute to high costs to the health care system.
The Consortium is one of the PhRMA Foundation’s four national Centers of Excellence in Value Assessment.
The “The Consortium’s Low Value Care Visualizer is meant to serve as a resource for organizations to help make the transition from dense, unhelpful data to meaningful, usable and understandable visualizations,” said Beth Beaudin-Seiler, PhD, senior analyst at Altarum and Manager of the Consortium. “By developing this tool, we hope to assist health care organizations—particularly state health programs, hospital systems, health plans, and self-insured employers—to better understand what their spending looks like so efforts can be made to more efficiently allocate resources.”
Use of the Low Value Care Visualizer is free for all users and is available online at: https://www.hcvalueassessment.org/resource-tool.php
While the tool does not generate underlying analytics, it does provide a visual display of claims data that have been synthesized using health care analysis software. Among the elements it enables users to visualize and display are:
- The percentage of total individuals that receive low-value care
- The percentage of total budget attributed to low value care
- Trends in low value care services over multiple years
“Decision-making that is rooted in data and information is good practice generally, and essential if you’re making health care decisions,” Beaudin-Seiler continued. “However, it can be difficult to make sense of the dense data that analytic teams produce. Understanding what this data means in a visual context is critically important not only to the decision-making process, but also to ensuring that all stakeholders are informed about how limited resources are being used.”
Estimates suggest that low-value care costs the United States health system hundreds of billions of dollars each year and contributes significantly to the country’s overall high cost of health care relative to other developed nations. This inefficient spending also negatively impacts patient outcomes by consuming resources that could be redirected towards both underutilized routine care and underutilized innovative care that offers higher value.
Since its inception, the Value Consortium has been working to identify, measure, and ultimately develop strategies to reduce the utilization of low value care. The Low Value Care Visualizer is the latest development in that effort.
To view a demonstration paper and user guide on the Low Value Care Visualizer, CLICK HERE.
To view an infographic describing how the Low Value Care Visualizer works, CLICK HERE.
To view a complete list of the Consortium’s research on low-value care, CLICK HERE.