Hospital ownership and cost and quality of care: is there a dime's worth of difference?
This paper compares cost and quality of care for Medicare patients hospitalized in for-profit hospitals contrasted with those in nonprofit and government hospitals following admission for hip fracture, stroke, coronary heart disease, or congestive heart failure. Cost of care in for-profit hospitals was similar to that of nonprofits, but patients admitted to government hospitals incurred less Medicare payments on average. There were only small differences in survival between for-profit, nonprofit, and government hospitals. Other measures of quality, including living in the community and activity of daily living limitations after index admission, show trivial differences by hospital ownership type. Between private sector hospital types (for-profit and nonprofit) there is indeed not a dime's worth of difference between the two in terms of cost to Medicare and patient outcome.
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