Making Financial Benchmarks Actionable with DRG Performance Insights

Benchmarking and distributed data sets have been available for years, yet many healthcare teams continue to struggle with adoption and usefulness of this data.

With a recent downturn in operating margins, for the first time since they came back to the black in March 2023 (according to a new report from Syntellis Performance Solutions, which recently became part of Strata), many healthcare organizations are focused on real, tangible ways to expedite their performance improvement efforts.  

The first step is identifying the right data. Often because the source of a metric’s “target” carries distinct importance, finding the right target for cost improvement can be the first challenge that leaders face. In addition, while internal benchmarks provide direct comparisons, these efforts often overlook systemic internal practices which drive up costs across all encounters. For example, you might see very little variation case by case, physician to physician, but what if your costs are still X% higher than your peers? What might have been an overlooked opportunity is now brought back into focus.

For a true measure, most leaders know that external benchmarks are valuable however using them to drive change has proven challenging due to data distrust or limited acumen.  

As a leader in healthcare enterprise performance management, Strata has been partnering with organizations for over two decades, helping them deploy tools and workflow improvements to strengthen their financial outcomes. This has provided a unique lens into how leading health systems adopt and use data for improving financial performance, highlighting the need for tailored benchmarking and in-depth analysis. Now with a network of over 200 healthcare organizations, Strata’s StrataSphere solution addresses these needs with a benchmarking and comparative analytics platform that delivers normalized cohort data to empower leaders with actionable insights. However, while data is critical, healthcare teams also know that improving performance is not as straightforward as simply putting that data into people’s hands – the effort needed to interpret and analyze the data in order to find the resolution is another barrier to change.  One solution is a customized benchmarking data set coupled with expert insights, giving your teams validated findings and a clear path forward. 

With StrataSphere’s DRG Performance Insights package, teams can approach their financial improvement efforts in a focused and efficient manner, prioritizing actionable findings and speed to value. This solution brings cost and margin trends across a comparative data set, organized by primary DRG. To address the nuances of each organization and the uniqueness of its data, the report data is customized for the organization’s DRGs, comparison cohorts, and various internal/external cost benchmarks. This partnership between the health system and Strata’s experts continues from report design through data analysis, which then allows teams to move swiftly from analysis to action. For example, learning not just that supply costs are increasing in a DRG grouping, but specifically what factors are causing costs to go up.

Faced with continued margin compression, healthcare leaders must be efficient in how they deploy resources for cost savings. Many are quickly realizing that the data they use must be trustworthy and the insights must be specific and defensible to incentivize changes in behavior. Strata’s new DRG Performance Insights package delivers this with speed to value, so that leaders can focus on building a broader ecosystem to strengthen accountability.

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