Slalom Tableau Showdown delivers key Medicare insights to Provider CIOs

Kyle Roemer

Kyle Roemer

It’s no secret that the United States is facing increasing healthcare costs, but how do the costs of common procedures and provider plans vary across our states and cities? The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released US Medicare Provider Charge data, which highlights charges by procedure across providers in the United States.

Provider CIOs: Do you know how your patient charges compare to other providers in your city, state, or across the country? Slalom’s Tableau and healthcare experts across four offices, five practice areas, and seven teams competed in a Tableau Showdown to analyze US Medicare Provider Charge data and showcase Tableau’s ability to visually present compelling, persuasive data insights.

Slalom’s Tableau Showdown worked like this: we put out a call to consultants and teams across our Tableau Community and Analytics Practice to present a Tableau analysis for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, augmenting the data set as needed. Each consultant or team was given five minutes to present a dashboard to our National Tableau Community. The result was an incredible display of Tableau prowess and healthcare industry perspective.

Determining the top submissions was tough, but our community came to a consensus and selected the top three entries. I’m happy to introduce our winners and their compelling insights below.

Reducing healthcare costs by boosting procedure efficiencies

From John Mathis, first-place winner: Visualizing Medicare data revealed several interesting financial aspects of our healthcare system. By viewing the state and classification heat map, it is apparent that California, Nevada, and New Jersey have the highest average costs. It is especially odd for New Jersey given its proximity to Maryland, which has the lowest state costs. Also interesting is the scatter plot of Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) codes, which reveals several outliers in terms of cost and patient volume. Public health administrators looking to bring down costs could use this visualization to identify procedures with the highest costs and frequency that would most benefit from efficiency improvements.

See John’s dashboard:

John Mathis Dashboard[1]

Improving provider coverage by identifying lesser served states

From Naveed Asem, second-place winner: I started by brainstorming about which audiences would most benefit from analyzing Medicare data. I came up with a group of three user personas—provider CIOs, Center for Medicare (CM) users, and the general public—and then identified insights that would be valuable to these audiences.

I primarily focused on the CM user and discovered a number of insights. Although Massachusetts is about average in number of inpatient procedures performed, it is second highest in the number of outpatient procedures performed. This trend shows that Massachusetts has a greater focus on outpatient care as opposed to inpatient care.

Additionally, I found that both California and Pennsylvania have a high concentration of Medicare providers compared to the number of services performed. This shows that either these states generally have a healthy population of providers due to incentives that encourage providers to provide Medicare service, or the quality of services performed is lower and patients overall require more visits and procedures.

See Naveed’s dashboard:

Naveed Asem Dashboard[1]Increasing healthcare quality by incentivizing providers 

From Dan Montgomery and the Chicago Healthcare practice, third-place winner:

One of the main insights that we were able to see with this dashboard is that across the United States, regardless of the number of discharges (patients served), healthcare costs for payers were relatively consistent from state to state. There were noticeable jumps in costs in California and New York, but otherwise the trend of costs matched the number of discharges.

 However, the range of the costs looking to be recovered from the healthcare providers and the payers greatly differed from state to state, and the only state that closely matched the two was Maryland. By identifying these states, payers can work more closely with providers to create incentives to improve the number of discharges to procedure-cost ratio, resulting in a more effective healthcare experience for patients.

See Dan’s dashboard:

Dan Montgomery Dashboard[1]

Wrapping up

Our Tableau Showdown highlighted the benefits of combining Slalom’s Tableau expertise with our deep healthcare experience to bring insights into the ever-changing healthcare industry. Our teams showcased how we’ve used Tableau to gain insights on reducing healthcare costs by boosting procedural efficiencies, improving provider coverage by identifying lesser-served states, and increasing healthcare quality by incentivizing providers. These are three areas that every provider CIO must get a better grasp on as the healthcare landscape continues to change.

One Response to Slalom Tableau Showdown delivers key Medicare insights to Provider CIOs

  1. marek koenig says:

    I really enjoy the wide range of visualization possibilities provided by Tableau. These three dashboards have brought out some good insights into the data.

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