Population profiling is a technique for comparing the morbidity patterns of one or more groups or regions. By taking into account the differences in illness burden among different patient populations, ACGs® allow one to determine variations in disease prevalence as well as resource use.
Typically, population profiling is the first step to better understanding the health care needs of a population. For example, for subpopulations that differ in age, gender, geographical region, ethnicity or other characteristics, population profiling can assess the differences in health status and identify the health care needs of special groups. Population profiling can also help explain variabilities in referral rates and differences in primary care services costs by linking these changes to changes in morbidity of the populations compared. Having a solid knowledge of the morbidity pattern of different populations also allows for the accurate evaluation of the efficiency of different healthcare practices, as well as the equitable setting of capitation payments.