BCG works closely with leading health care companies worldwide to address outcomes variation and, through a better understanding of the drivers of variation, enable improved outcomes for patients.
When it comes to treating the same symptoms, there are often enormous differences in health care treatments across geographies. For example, in the United States, there are twice as many hip replacements in the northwest part of the country than in the south. In the Netherlands, there are twice as many hernia operations in the northeast than in the southwest. And in the United Kingdom, there are five times more admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the north than in the south.
In an ideal world, clinical decision-making is based on a combination of scientific guidance, physician judgment, and experience and patient needs and preferences. But in reality, clinical decision-making is largely driven by the judgment and experience of the physician. Varying judgments of physicians can be driven by differences in education, available capacity, and personal beliefs.
BCG works with payers and providers worldwide to reduce practice variation through clear benchmarks and tailored road maps designed to keep systems on the right track. As part of the approach, there are four distinct levers for reducing practice variation.