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Monday, June 13, 2011

Analyzing performance in addiction treatment: An application of data envelopment analysis to the state of Maryland system

The pressure is on to measure performance and to increase accountability in health care in general and in addiction treatment in particular. 

The pressure in the world of addiction treatment comes in large measure from the limited resources that are available in relation to the very large numbers of potential patients.

Using data on 161 clinics in the state of Maryland, this article illustrates how data envelopment analysis (DEA), a methodology used widely in other settings, can be used to measure the performance of addiction treatment clinics and can help to identify appropriate benchmarks for clinics wishing to improve their performance. 

The potential utility of DEA is not only limited to the analysis of state networks but extends to analyses of organizations that have a number of treatment locations. However, its full potential at the national and state levels will only be realized when state-level uniform data sets become available.

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