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The effect of a hospital nurse staffing mandate on patient health outcomes: Evidence from California's minimum staffing regulation

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Author Info

  • Cook, Andrew
  • Gaynor, Martin
  • Stephens Jr, Melvin
  • Taylor, Lowell

Abstract

We evaluate the impact of California Assembly Bill 394, which mandated maximum levels of patients per nurse in the hospital setting. When the law was passed, some hospitals already met the requirements, while others did not. Thus changes in staffing ratios from the pre- to post-mandate periods are driven in part by the legislation. We find persuasive evidence that AB394 had the intended effect of decreasing patient/nurse ratios in hospitals that previously did not meet mandated standards. However, these improvements in staffing ratios do not appear to be associated with relative improvements in measured patient safety in affected hospitals.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 340-348

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:2:p:340-348

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

Related research

Keywords: Nursing; Staffing; Regulation; Outcomes; Hospitals; Patient safety;

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  1. Emma Hall & Carol Propper & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Can pay regulation kill? Panel data evidence on the effect of labor markets on hospital performance," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/184, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Evans, William N. & Kim, Beomsoo, 2006. "Patient outcomes when hospitals experience a surge in admissions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 365-388, March.
  3. Mark McClellan & Douglas Staiger, 2000. "Comparing the Quality of Health Care Providers," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 3, pages 113-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Dube, Arindrajit & Kaplan, Ethan & Thompson, Owen, 2014. "Nurse Unions and Patient Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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