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Medicare Geographic Variation

Federal policymakers and health researchers have long recognized that the amount and quality of the health care services that Medicare beneficiaries receive vary substantially across different regions of the United States.  The Office of Information Products and Data Analytics (OIPDA) at CMS has made several resources available to researchers, policymakers, and other users who are interested in learning more about geographic variation in Medicare.

  • Public Use File: The Geographic Variation Public Use File is a series of downloadable tables and reports that contain demographic, spending, utilization, and quality indicators for the Medicare fee-for-service population. 
  • Dashboard: The Geographic Variation Dashboard presents Medicare fee-for-service per-capita spending at the state level in an interactive format.  We calculated the spending figures in this dashboard using standardized dollars that remove the effects of the geographic adjustments that Medicare makes for many of its payment rates. 
  • Site Visit Report: The Site Visits Summary Report details findings from site visits to 12 HRRs with varying utilization and quality patterns.  CMS also conducted site visits to two HRRs that focused on the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE); these findings are detailed in the PACE Site Visit Summary Report.