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Tresata Health releases research results examining tradeoff between cost and quality in healthcare in the United States



blog-details-eye-slashNov 3, 2016


Charlotte, N.C. | November 3, 2016

Tresata Health released earlier today its first research into challenges faced by our Healthcare industry.  This first project was powered by its advanced analytics operating system, HAPPi, and focused on the subject of determining whether cost of healthcare had any impact on the quality of outcomes delivered.

The U.S. spends more than any country in the world on healthcare – 17% of Annual GDP (over $3 trillion a year, or around $10,000 per person).  Yet, we rank below most industrialized countries on all core health statistics – life expectancy, quality of care, and treatment for select conditions.

Most studies that have examined the association between cost and quality of care in the U.S. have been challenged by the lack of integrated health data and consistent evaluation methods. As a result, they have often sampled available data, worked within a single data set, or studied this question within individual hospital systems.

In an effort to break that logjam, Tresata funded an internal study, led by its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Dulin, to address this question without directly sampling either the data or limiting the number of hospitals within the analysis.  The team used HAPPi’s data integration, data quality, and data enrichment functions to collect, curate, and compute all raw data.  Cost information was determined based on charges and out of pocket expenses for all hospital systems across the U.S. using claims data.  This starting dataset was then further enriched with patient surveys, readmissions rates, and mortality information from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Compare Database.

“This study is an excellent example of the importance of using big data within a next-generation analytics framework can provide game-changing insight into the issues facing our county in terms of healthcare delivery,” said Dr. Dulin. “This industry is in a critical time where tools like HAPPi are desperately needed to address questions at the macro level around cost and quality while also bringing data and predictive analytics to the point of care to allow providers to rapidly improve individual care and patient outcomes.”

The results from this study show that higher cost, paid either directly by Medicare or out of pocket by the patient, was neither associated with higher patient satisfaction nor better quality of care. The study also highlighted the need to account for patient feedback when assessing quality of care, as HCAHPS results were founds to be most closely associated with better readmission rates.

The study calls for further research in the areas of: how the number of conditions a hospital manages impacts cost; how quality and care delivery can vary based on the type of hospital; the impact of overall acute and ambulatory care utilization on readmissions; and how competition within a regional market impacts both cost and quality.

Additional data will be added into the HAPPi-powered “CTQ” data asset as it becomes available to provide additional insight into temporal changes that impact the complex relationship between cost, patient reported quality, and outcomes.

For full details of the study, please visit:

About Tresata

Tresata builds next-generation predictive analytics applications that automate the discovery of knowledge. This software allows enterprises to use all their data to get, grow and keep customers and runs in Apache Hadoop, the leading open source data analytics platform. Tresata is recognized as the leader in the rapidly emerging Big Data sector offering analytics applications that help enterprises monetize big data™ and is the fastest growing analytics software company in America. Learn more at