Claims data from sickness funds were used to describe practice patterns of all physician partnerships of six medical specialties in a region of The Netherlands. The numbers of admissions to hospital, patient days, in-patient and out-patient procedures were compared per 1,000 insured persons. There were large differences among physicians within the same specialties. The non-surgical specialties had more variable practice patterns. Variation in use of specific procedures with a supposedly clear indication versus a less-defined indication was the same. We could not identify special areas with greater differences that should have a priority for quality-improvement activities. The use of sickness fund data in monitoring and decreasing variations in medical practice is discussed.

Claims data, Medical practice variations, Quality assurance,
European Journal of Public Health
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Casparie, A.F, Post, D, van Harten, W.H, & Gubbels, J.W. (1993). Differences in production between medical specialists: An inventory based on claims data to identify potential areas for quality-improvement activities. European Journal of Public Health, 3(4), 292–295. doi:10.1093/eurpub/3.4.292