High-Priced Hospitals are Not Necessarily Better Hospitals

foto-hospitalThe study found that high-price hospitals averaged 474 staffed beds — more than double the average number of beds in the low-price hospitals — and had market shares about three times as large as those of low-price hospitals. The high-price hospitals were almost three times as likely to be teaching hospitals, were much more likely to offer specialized facilities and services, and received significantly higher revenues from sources other than patient care. In national rankings of hospitals’ reputations, high-price hospitals scored higher, but clinical outcomes measures were mixed. High-price hospitals performed better on one measure of mortality (for patients with heart failure), but performed worse than the low-price hospitals on measures of excess readmissions and on patient-safety indicators, including postsurgical deaths and complications.

Comments (15)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    High-priced hospitals are not necessarily better than lower-priced hospitals because most hospitals are not competing on the basis of price. And if they’re not competing on price, they are probably not competing on quality either. At least not competing in the sense that economists think of as competition.

  2. Xinyuan Zou says:

    Well, people need a hospital which can solve their problems. Whether a hospital can cure the illness efficiently determines its reputation and quality.

  3. Allen says:

    “The high-price hospitals were almost three times as likely to be teaching hospitals”

    Oh, so unprepared interns and residents practicing on our bodies. Wonderful.

  4. Bob says:

    Interesting. But I also wonder if these hospitals attract patients with more serious conditions, leading to the higher death rates?