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Improving Patient Decision-Making: Regional Series

Improving Patient Decision-Making in Health Care: A 2012 Dartmouth Atlas Series

Medicine involves decisions. But for Medicare patients with conditions for which surgery is an option, whether they undergo elective surgery depends largely on where they live and the clinicians they see. Research suggests that for many conditions -- especially those that can be treated with elective surgery -- the treatment a patient receives depends more on the physician's recommendations than the patient's preferences. When studying elective surgeries, the Dartmouth Atlas found remarkable variation in these "preference-sensitive" procedures for Medicare patients, even though they had similar conditions. This series, a collaborative project with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, looks at the variation in surgical rates in 306 hospital referral regions across the United States. Each report highlights one of nine regions and shows the variation that exists even across these smaller geographic areas. To download data for all regions, please visit our Downloads page.

November 29, 2012

The New England region
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
[Download the PDF] [Download Data] [Press Release] [Purchase a Copy]

The Middle Atlantic region
New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
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The South Atlantic region
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia
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The Great Lakes region
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
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December 12, 2012

The East South Central region
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee
[Download the PDF] [Download Data] [Press Release] [Purchase a Copy]

The Great Plains region
Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
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The West South Central region
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
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The Mountain states
Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming
[Download the PDF] [Download Data] [Press Release] [Purchase a Copy]

The Pacific states
Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington
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The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care is based at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and is supported by a coalition of funders led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, including the WellPoint Foundation, the United Health Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation, and the Charles H. Hood Foundation.