The Dartmouth Atlas contains detailed information on regional variations in health care spending and use and therefore has the potential to play a key role in the debate over health care cost and efficiency.
Nonetheless, it has come under fire in a few prominent publications lately. Writing for the Health Affairs blog, Amitabh Chandra defends the utility of the Atlas, pointing out that in many cases quibbles with the Atlas arise due to a lack of broad perspective or understanding of the health care system as a whole and an inability to properly interpret Dartmouth’s findings.
In addition to refuting certain attacks on the Atlas, Chandra expands his defense to include an outline of just why it can be a useful resource when trying to evaluate health care spending and effectiveness.
To learn more about the Dartmouth Atlas and how to use it to determine how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States, read AHCJ’s Covering Hospitals, a slim guide that focuses on how journalists can best use Dartmouth Atlas and Hospital Compare.