Press Release

Embargoed Until Contact

December 07, 2011

Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962


From Health Affairs


New Eleven-Country Survey Of Seriously Ill Patients: Medical Home Patients Fared Better


Bethesda, MD -- As health care costs increase around the world, many countries are beginning to rely on disease registries, which can produce substantial savings. An international study of thirteen registries in five countries (Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States) found that registries enable health care professionals to engage in continuous learning as well as identify and share best clinical practices. The study was released today as a Web First by Health Affairs and will also appear in the journal's January 2012 issue.


Use Of 13 Disease Registries In 5 Countries Demonstrates The Potential To Use Outcome Data To Improve Health Care's Value
By Stefan Larsson, Peter Lawyer, Göran Garellick, Bertil Lindahl, and Mats Lundström

Larsson and Lawyer are affiliated with the Boston Consulting Group (Larsson in Stockholm and Lawyer in Minneapolis); Garellick is with the University of Gothenberg in Sweden; Lindahl is with Sweden's Uppsala University; and Lundström is with Lund University in Sweden.


The thirteen registries examined dealt with six medical conditions or procedures. In addition to analyzing both published and unpublished registry data, the authors interviewed thirty-two health care professionals to better understand how registries function and to identify ways they are able to influence clinical practice. The authors found many examples where the use of the registry was associated with improvements in health outcomes. For example, Sweden began a registry for hip replacement surgery in 1979. Since then, Sweden has reduced its revision burden (the number of surgeries that have to be repeated as a share of total hip replacements in a given year) to 10 percent--saving some $14 million per year. The authors estimate that if the United States had in place a similar registry for hip-replacement surgery, it would avoid some $2 billion of an expected $24 billion in total costs for these surgeries in 2015.


The United States has been slower than other countries to adopt the practice of disease registries for a number of reasons, and the authors call on the US government to create the necessary regulations and seed funding. They suggest that insurance companies and drug and device manufacturers should help advance registries' development "because the high-quality data that registries produce would help them focus on genuine innovations to improve clinical outcomes and bend the health care cost curve."

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically and health policy briefs published twice monthly at You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download weekly Narrative Matters podcasts on iTunes.

The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all Web-site visitors for a two-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund.