One of the fun things about being in the healthcare analytics business is getting the chance to look at de-identified data from all over the country to see some of the things that tend to drive medical costs. The key to having any meaningful analysis is to take the thousands of diagnostic and procedure codes and organize those codes into a small enough set of groupers that allows for a meaningful analysis. We have over 6000 healthcare rules in our rules engine and none are more important and basic than the rules that create our groupers.
As a former CPA who has been in healthcare analytics and finance for more than 35 years, I continue to be surprised at how much I don't know. When I look at data on millions of working aged people, one thing I find quite interesting is the #2 thing driving surgeries and surgical costs are complications from other medical procedures or surgeries. That's a pretty big problem. In fact about 5% of all surgeries are in response to this issue based on our data. Those surgeries average about $37,000 and in total are about 1.1% of medical costs overall.
Four other medical conditions are driving 25% of the remaining surgeries, with Osteoarthritis #1, driving 11% of the surgeries. I have certainly contributed to that statistic in my lifetime. Morbid Obesity comes in at #3. Again, I am not sure I would have predicted that in addition to driving a large amount of medical costs, it also is a big factor in surgeries. Benign Neoplasms come in at #4 and Intervertebral Disc Disorders rounds out the top 5. The cost per surgery is about $30,000 for these five combined and account for 30% of all surgeries.
Top 5 Surgery Drivers:
- Complications from surgery and other procedures
- Morbid Obesity
- Benign Neoplasms
- Intervertebral Disc Disorders
So if you are thinking about Healthcare Transparency or Population Health Management strategies, don't overlook these 5 conditions driving a significant portion of your surgery spend.
These insights on surgery spend is just one way example of how Deerwalk products offer innovative ways to analyze healthcare data, from both the clinical and financial perspective. The unique big data technology architecture behind Deerwalk’s solutions allows for generating ad-hoc reports and on-the-fly analysis in minutes, or even seconds, rather than hours.