Benchmarking Health Care
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The health care delivery system is becoming more price sensitive with each passing day. Much of this results from an oversupply of hospital beds and physicians as well as an increased penetration of managed care into marketplaces nationwide. With these changes come new pressures which force organizations to reduce expenses or be left behind. In this kind of world, a tool which provides insight to better one's performance would be indispensable: Benchmarking is just that type of tool. The following paper will attempt to interpret the health care delivery system. Once a basic understanding of health care is established, the general technique of benchmarking will be described. Finally, a study of the University Health System Consortium ties benchmarking to the health care marketplace through their highly successful benchmarking studies involving academic medical centers. By understanding the health care marketplace as it stands today, it is apparent that benchmarking could play a major role in the redesign of this market as managed care places new demands on the existing infrastructure.