Office of Health Care Practice and Policy

Photo of two Mayo Clinic staff members looking at an iPad

The Office of Health Care Practice and Policy conducts research addressing current health care policy issues on value and quality measurement, appropriate risk adjustment, economic analyses, and alternative payment and delivery issues. The office's research also informs Mayo Clinic practice and policy through reporting to advance Mayo's understanding of health care delivery operations.

Areas of focus

  • Provide national health policy discussion as a resource to the institution
  • Assess how a health system organization impacts health care quality, utilization and clinical outcomes
  • Analyze health insurance reform and impact on access and quality for primary and specialty care
  • Offer clinicians and investigators specialized services to conduct analyses on economic costs and health care resource utilization using a variety of health economic methodologies in a variety of disease areas
  • Conceptualize novel care delivery models

Results of projects carried out in the Office of Health Care Practice and Policy benefit patients in several ways, such as by ensuring high-quality, affordable and patient-centric health care as well as aligning optimal care delivery models with the tightening reimbursement environment. Additionally, the Office of Health Care Practice and Policy helps Mayo Clinic maintain its leadership position in the national health policy discussion.


Examples of the type of work that the office conducts include:

  • Evaluating new second line agents for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes have several choices for drugs that can help them achieve blood glucose control, but the drugs have varying costs and undefined comparative effectiveness. Using data from OptumLabs, researchers explored outcomes and costs associated with four commonly prescribed treatment regimens.

    Findings showed that the least expensive, older drugs work best and that the regimen with sulfonylurea has the lowest cost per quality-adjusted life year and longest time to insulin dependence. Work is underway to reassess clinical guidelines and pharmacy formulary processes to ensure these findings reach clinicians and patients. Read the study abstract.

  • Increasing care value and predictability in Mayo's adult cardiac surgery practice. Physicians, surgeons and researchers evaluated a new care model for how adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery are managed at Mayo Clinic, asking whether some portion of that population was similar enough that they could be managed in a more uniform, structured way rather than relying on physicians to individually determine each patient's course of care.

    They determined that such a uniform approach was appropriate for 67 percent of patients undergoing cardiac surgery and, using industrial engineering principles and health information technology tools, crafted and implemented a new model for this segment of patients.

    Results showed that the new model reduced hospital length of stay, costs and amount of resources used while also decreasing variation and improving outcomes. Read the study abstract.

  • Enhancing recovery in gynecologic surgery. In this study, the goal was to investigate the effects of enhanced recovery in people undergoing gynecologic surgery. Researchers compared a group of 241 patients who were managed with an enhanced recovery protocol after surgery with a control group of 235 past patients who received standard recovery care. Enhanced recovery resulted in a four-day reduction in hospital length of stay, with stable readmission rates and a 30-day cost savings of more than $7,600 a patient. Patient-controlled anesthesia use decreased from 98.7 percent in the control group to just 33.3 percent in the enhanced recovery group, and overall opioid use decreased by 80 percent in the first 48 hours after surgery with no changes in pain scores. Read the study abstract.


Jon O. Ebbert, M.D.

Kristy L. Vierling, M.A.