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Akron Univ. School of Law

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Atul Gawande on Fresh Air

Dr. Gawande will discuss his New Yorker article, The Cost Conundrum, on NPR's Fresh Air today.

In "The Cost Conundrum," his latest article for The New Yorker, staff writer Dr. Atul Gawande reports from McAllen, Texas, a border-town with the dubious distinction of spending more per person on health care than almost any other market in America.

But higher spending doesn't necessarily correlate with better care, as Gawande discovers when he compares health outcomes in McAllen with those of El Paso, Texas — a city with similar population demographics, but where Medicare spending per enrollee that is half that of McAllen.

Gawande writes that his findings, based on Medicare's 25 metrics of care, indicate that: "On all but two of these [standards of care], McAllen's five largest hospitals performed worse, on average, than El Paso's. McAllen costs Medicare seven thousand dollars more per person each year than does the average city in America. But not, so far as one can tell, because it's delivering better health care." ...

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