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What is Relative Resource Use?

Relative Resource Use (RRU) measures indicate how intensively plans use physician visits, hospital stays and other resources to care for members identified as having one of five chronic diseases; cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, hypertension and asthma. When evaluated alongside quality measures, RRU measures make it possible to consider quality and spending simultaneously.

For purchasers, a key insight of Quality Compass® 2014 RRU + Quality Index is that, unlike some goods and services, the level of resources that plans expend to care for members and the quality achieved are weakly related. In some instances, quality and resource use appear to be inversely related (i.e., higher quality is associated with lower resource use). Therefore, quality and resource use should both be considered when comparing health plans.

How Can Relative Resource Use Help?

Understanding the value of these measures requires both cost and quality information. NCQA’s HEDIS performance measures reflect quality; however, when it comes to cost, little information is publically available.

When linked with HEDIS quality data, RRU measures help members, plans, employers, benefit managers and other interested groups, make informed choices about health care services. Members get a more detailed look at the value of services they pay for, while plans can see how effectively they use resources, compared to other plans, when delivering health care. 

  • Calculating a Quality Index
    A summary of how the quality index calculations are performed on HEDIS Effectiveness of Care (EOC) measures used with the RRU. Common RRU Questions
  • FAQs about RRU and what the results mean. 
  • RRU Fact Sheet

NCQA's "Relative Resource Use" (RRU) measures help illustrates how services like doctor visits and hospital stays relate to quality. They reveal that, overall, the amount of services used to treat people often has little to do with the quality of their care.

RRU + Quality Index

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Commercial (2014)

$795

$1,195

$1,695

$2,195

$2,690

Commercial (2014) with Data Exporter

$1,985

$2,985

$4,185

$5,385

$6,585

Medicaid (2014) CSV download file

$495

$750

$1,065

$1,365

$1,665

Medicare (2014) CSV download file

$495

$750

$1,065

$1,365

$1,665


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