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Organizational Analysis Paper

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A Bill of Health That Doesn’t Add Up

At the request of the Tampa Tribune, three insurers allowed a reporter access to hospital cost and quality information they post on password-protected Web sites for their members. The companies were Humana, United Healthcare, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. A Tribune analysis shows the range of prices that Bay area hospitals charge for the same procedures.

I believe the statistical procedure used in this report is mentioned in Chapters 2 under Data types. Out of the two Data types mentioned in chapter 2, (Qualitative data and Quantitative data) I think the Quantitative data type would be appropriate in this analysis report, due to the research is being done on prices that Bay area hospitals charge for the same procedure. Quantitative data have numerical values representing counts and measurements.

The findings of in the report state that Humana, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, says it has to pay $90,000, including doctor bills, each time a member has a heart bypass operation at Brandon Regional Hospital. If the patient had the same procedure at Tampa General Hospital, the insurer says it would pay about $45,000 вЂ" half as much as at Brandon. The company would pay even less for the same surgery at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg: $30,450. Even though bypass surgery costs considerably more at Brandon, the other two hospitals (Humana and St. Petersburg), received higher scores for effectiveness from WebMD Quality Services, which analyzes hospital-patient data and sells the analysis to Humana and other health insurers.

A review of WebMD’s analysis of 33 procedures at Bay area hospitals found that those with the highest costs are seldom top-rated for quality, according to Humana’s member Web site. WebMD ranks hospitals’ quality performance using mortality rates and other data such as major complications.

Humana and two other companies that favor providing cost and quality data to consumers allowed the Tribune to review information they make available online to members in the Bay area. The others were UnitedHealthcare the nation’s second-largest carrier, and Blue Cross and BlueShield of Florida, The largest health insurer in Florida. Both provide rankings of local hospitals by procedure, but neither provides as much cost information as Humana. The Tribune decided to focus on the Humana site.

More Findings

Cost can vary вЂ" a lot: Heart catheterization, a procedure to determine whether surgery is needed, cost about $20,000 at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, almost four times as much as the $5,850 it cost at Tampa General.

Location can matter

In general, hospital costs tend to be lower in Pinellas County than Hillsborough. And costs in both counties tend to be less than in Pasco. For example, a stroke-prevention procedure known as Carotid Endarterectomy cost Humana more than $30,000 at Community Hospital of New Port Richey. Equally good results were reported at University Hospital in Tampa, where the



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