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The Office of Information Products and Data Analytics (OIPDA) at CMS has developed an interactive dashboard that presents information on state-level variation in standardized per-capita costs for the Medicare fee-for-service population.

We standardize spending to remove geographic differences in payment rates for individual services as a source of variation.  The standardized costs presented in the dashboard were not re-scaled to be equal to actual costs for the study population.  In 2011 actual per capita costs for the study population equaled $9,539 compared to standardized per capita costs of $9,003.  In general, total standardized per capita costs are less than actual per capita costs because we removed extra payments Medicare made to hospitals, such as payments for medical education (both direct and indirect) and payments to hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients.  Standardization does not adjust for differences in beneficiaries’ health status. 

The dashboard includes total standardized per capita spending, as well as standardized per capita spending by type of service.  The interactive format allows users to select the indicator and year they want to display.  Users can also compare data for a given state to the national average.  All of the information presented in the Dashboard is also available for download from the Geographic Variation Public Use File.


Click to open the Geographic Variation Dashboard. (Currently the Dashboard is not formatted to open on a smart phone or tablet.)