The ways in which important discoveries come into medicine are sometimes unbelievable.  Medicine is sometimes too slow at changing its standards and protocols once important discoveries are made.

For the past twenty years, this has been the case with GIS.  The current science of spatial epidemiology is a study that has the potential to completely reform managed care and better address the rising cost concerns we are now facing.  Yet, we are still not ready for these changes, or taking on GIS at full force.

Like twenty years ago, the use of GIS remains an experimental process with most managed care and insurance agencies, and is not at all required for any annual QI or Meaningful Use reviews.  With the mining and use of Big Data now common to HIT, the industry is unprepared for this more rigorous, thorough, cost saving method of monitoring healthcare.

The following articles are examples of the application of GIS to managed care and quality assurance processes in healthcare.



Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).   Using Geographic Methods to Understand Health Issues .  (2014/5)  Access at http://archive.ahrq.gov/research/geomap/geomap1.htm 

Panth, M., & Acharya, A. S. (2015). The unprecedented role of computers in improvement and transformation of public health: An emerging priority. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 40(1), 8.  DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.149262.  Accessed at http://www.ijcm.org.in/article.asp?issn=0970-0218;year=2015;volume=40;issue=1;spage=8;epage=13;aulast=Panth 

Dalton, C. M., & Thatcher, J. (2015). Inflated Granularity: Spatial ‘Big Data’and Geodemographics. Available at SSRN 2544638.  Accessed at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2544638

Lee, D. C., Carr, B. G., Smith, T. E., Tran, V. C., Polsky, D., & Branas, C. C. (2015). The Impact of Hospital Closures and Hospital and Population Characteristics on Increasing Emergency Department Volume: A Geographic Analysis. Population health management.   Accessible via http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/pop.2014.0123 

Adams, A. M., Islam, R., & Ahmed, T. (2015). Who serves the urban poor? A geospatial and descriptive analysis of health services in slum settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Health policy and planning, 30(suppl 1), i32-i45.  doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu094.   Accessible via  http://heapol.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/suppl_1/i32.short 

Lee R Mobley, Tzy-Mey Kuo, Jeffrey Traczynski, Victoria Udalova and HE Frech. (2014).   Macro-level factors impacting geographic disparities in cancer screening.   Health Economics Review 2014, 4:13  doi:10.1186/s13561-014-0013-7.  Accessed at  http://www.healtheconomicsreview.com/content/4/1/13 

Simms, I., Gibin, M., & Petersen, J. (2014). Location, location, location: what can geographic information science (GIS) offer sexual health research?. Sexually transmitted infections, 90(6), 442-443. doi:10.1136/sextrans-2014-051695    http://sti.bmj.com/content/90/6/442.short 

Angier, H., Likumahuwa, S., Finnegan, S., Vakarcs, T., Nelson, C., Bazemore, A., … & DeVoe, J. E. (2014). Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Identify Communities in Need of Health Insurance Outreach: An OCHIN Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) Report. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 27(6), 804-810.   dos:10.3122/jabfm.2014.06.140029.  Accessed at  http://www.jabfm.org/content/27/6/804.short . 

Ana Lopez de Fede, Kathy Mayfield Smith, John Stewart.  The Role of Geography in Health Care Spending and Monitoring Services Use.  A Getis-OrdGi* Statistical Hot Spot Analysis of SC Medicaid Paid Claims per Capital by ZCTA.  Policy and Research Institute on Medicaid and Medicare, Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina.  Accessed at http://ifs.sc.edu/NewPRMM/Products/HotSpotAnalysisMethods.pdf 

David Moskowitz, Bruce Guthrie, Andrew B. Bindman.  (2012). The Role of Data in Health Care Disparities in Medicaid
Managed Care.  Medicare & Medicaid Research Review, 2(4), E1-E15.  Accessed at  http://www.cms.gov/mmrr/Downloads/MMRR2012_002_04_A02.pdf 

Peter W Gething, Fiifi Amoako Johnson, Faustina Frempong-Ainguah, Philomena Nyarko, Angela Baschieri, Patrick Aboagye, Jane Falkingham, Zoe Matthews and Peter M Atkinson.  (2012).  Geographical access to care at birth in Ghana: a barrier to safe motherhood.   BMC Public Health 2012, 12:991  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-991  Accessed at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/991 

Michael Sparer (2012). Medicaid managed care:
Costs, access, and quality of care. RESEARCH SYNTHESIS REPORT NO. 23. SEPTEMBER 2012. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Accessed at

Paul Guttry. (2012). 21 NOV 2012 RESEARCH & IDEAS
What Health Care Managers Need to Know–and How to Teach Them . Working Knowledge. Accessed at http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6933.html

Peter J. Cunningham. (2011). State Variation in Primary Care Physician Supply: Implications for Health Reform Medicaid Expansions. HSC Research Brief No. 19. March 2011. Accessed at http://www.hschange.com/CONTENT/1192/

Tomas J. Philipson, Darius Lakdawalla,Dana Goldman. (2010). Addressing Geographic Variation and Health Care Efficiency. Lessons for Medicare from Private Health Insurers
July 19, 2010 | American Enterprise Institute. Accessed at http://www.aei.org/publication/addressing-geographic-variation-and-health-care-efficiency/

America College of Physicians. (2010). RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES IN HEALTH CARE, UPDATED 2010. ACP, A Position Paper. Accessed at https://www.acponline.org/advocacy/current_policy_papers/assets/racial_disparities.pdf 

American Hospital Association.  (2009).  Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending: A Closer Look. American Hospital Association.  November 2009.  Accessed at file:///C:/Users/Brian/Downloads/twnov09geovariation.pdf

Sylvester J. Schieber, Chairman. Dana K. Bilyeu, Dorcas R. Hardy, Marsha Rose Katz, Barbara B. Kennelly, Mark J. Warshawsky, (2009). The Unsustainable Cost of Health Care. Social Security Advisory Board, September 2009. Accessed at http://www.ssab.gov/documents/TheUnsustainableCostofHealthCare_508.pdf

Donald M. Berwick, Thomas W. Nolan and John Whittington. (2008). The Triple Aim: Care, Health, And Cost. Health Affairs, 27, no.3 (2008):759-769. Accessed at http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/27/3/759.full.pdf+html

Dummer, T. J. B. (2008). Health geography: supporting public health policy and planning. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal, 178(9), 1177–1180. doi:10.1503/cmaj.071783 Access at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2292766/

Daniel Callahan, (2008). “Health Care Costs and Medical Technology,” in From Birth to Death and Bench to Clinic: The Hastings Center Bioethics Briefing. Book for Journalists, Policymakers, and Campaigns, ed. Mary Crowley. (Garrison, NY: The Hastings Center, 2008), 79-82. Accessed at http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Publications/BriefingBook/Detail.aspx?id=2178

John Carroll. (2007). How Doctors Are Paid Now, And Why It Has to Change. December 2007. Accessed at http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/0712/0712.docpay.html

Sarah Hudson Scholle. (2007). Efforts to reduce racial disparities in Medicare managed care must consider the disproportionate effects of geography. The American journal of managed care (Impact Factor: 2.17). 02/2007; 13(1):51-6. Accessed indirectly via http://www.researchgate.net/publication/6575638_Efforts_to_reduce_racial_disparities_in_Medicare_managed_care_must_consider_the_disproportionate_effects_of_geography

Stefane M Kabene, Carole Orchard, John M Howard, Mark A Soriano and Raymond Leduc. (2006). The importance of human resources management in health care: a global context.
Human Resources for Health, 4:20 doi:10.1186/1478-4491-4-20. Accessed at http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/4/1/20

William H. Frist.  (2005).  Overcoming Disparities in U. S. Healthcare.  Health Affairs, 24, no.2 (2005):445-451.  doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.24.2.445 . Accessed at  http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/2/445.full.pdf+html 

Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Ananeh-Firempong 2nd, O. (2003). Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public health reports, 118(4), 293.  Accessed at  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497553/ 

Martin Sipkoff. (2003). Nine Ways to reduce Unwarranted Variation. Managed Care, November 2003. Accessed at http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/0311/0311.variation.html

David M. Cutler, Louise Scheiner. (1999). The geography of Medicare. Accessed at http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1999/199918/199918pap.pdf

Mark Rosenberg. (1998).   Medical or Health Geography? Populations, Peoples and Places.   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POPULATION GEOGRAPHY 4, 211-226 (1998).


Sarah Curtis and Ian Rees Jones. (1998). Is there a place for geography in the analysis of health inequality? Sociology of Health & Illness.. 20(5), 645-672. ISSN 0141–9889.
Access at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.00123/pdf

See on Scoop.itGlobal∑os® (GlobalEOS)