WHIO Atlas of Health Care in Wisconsin Released

February 25, 2015

WHIO proudly announces the publication of The WHIO Atlas of Health Care in Wisconsin, Vol. 1.

Publication Identifies Clinical Practice Variation in the State
Powerful Tool to Improve Quality, Reduce Cost

The Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) proudly announces the publication of The WHIO Atlas of Health Care in Wisconsin, Vol. 1. The Atlas will help all stakeholders better understand geographically-based practice variation as a means to achieve the highest quality of care at the most appropriate cost.

"Wisconsin has a long and rich history of striving to improve the "value" of health care delivered to its residents," said WHIO CEO Josephine Musser. "Businesses, government, health care providers, insurance companies, public agencies and individuals have all participated in this effort. The WHIO Atlas will be an invaluable tool as we strive to improve the quality and efficiency of health care in our State," Musser said.

Complementing the national reporting of the landmark Dartmouth Atlas, the Wisconsin Atlas uses the robust WHIO health care claims database to map out geographically-based relative resource use (Resource Use Index) by Regions in the State of Wisconsin, County, and Zip Code. The Atlas allows one to understand the major components driving resource use (Emergency Department, Hospital, Laboratory, Primary Care, Radiology, and Specialty Care) in any specific region.

The Wisconsin Atlas visually portrays geographically-based clinical practice variation. Variation in clinical practice in and of itself is not necessarily "good" or "bad." However, identifying variation presents an opportunity to understand differences in care delivery, and, thereby, a means to identify best practices, improve quality and lower costs.

The current WHIO claims database includes commercial, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage insurance claims. The Dartmouth Atlas uses only Medicare fee-for-service claims.

Future versions of the Wisconsin Atlas will portray larger and increasingly comprehensive data to support WHIO's mission to improve the quality, efficiency and affordability of health care for residents of Wisconsin.