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The consumer welfare implications of the hospital ownership mix in the US: an exploratory study

  • Rexford E. Santerre

    (Center for Healthcare & Insurance Studies and Department of Finance, University of Connecticut, School of Business, CT, USA)

  • John A. Vernon

    (Center for Healthcare & Insurance Studies and Department of Finance, University of Connecticut, School of Business, CT, USA)

This paper offers an empirical test concerning how hospital ownership mix affects consumer welfare in the US. The test compares the market benefits and costs resulting from an increased presence of nonprofit hospitals by observing empirically how the nonprofit market share impacts hospital care utilization at the margin. The empirical results suggest that too many not-for-profit and public hospitals exist in the inpatient care segment of the typical hospital services industry of the US. In contrast, the empirical findings indicate that too many for-profit hospitals operate in the outpatient care portion of the hospital services industry. The policy implication is that more quality of care per dollar might be obtained by promoting increased for-profit activity to inpatient care and more nonprofit activity to outpatient care in some market areas. This conclusion, however, is tempered with several caveats. We discuss these and also make recommendations for further research. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1187-1199

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:15:y:2006:i:11:p:1187-1199
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  1. Jean Abraham & Martin Gaynor & William B. Vogt, 2005. "Entry and Competition in Local Hospital Markets," GSIA Working Papers 1999-E32, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. Sloan, Frank A., 2000. "Not-for-profit ownership and hospital behavior," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1141-1174 Elsevier.
  3. Grabowski, David C. & Hirth, Richard A., 2003. "Competitive spillovers across non-profit and for-profit nursing homes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-22, January.
  4. Pauly, Mark V & Redisch, Michael, 1973. "The Not-For-Profit Hospital as a Physicians' Cooperative," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 87-99, March.
  5. Dranove, David & White, William D, 1994. "Recent Theory and Evidence on Competition in Hospital Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 169-209, Spring.
  6. Manheim, Larry M & Bazzoli, Gloria J & Sohn, Min-Woong, 1994. "Local Hospital Competition in Large Metropolitan Areas," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 143-67, Spring.
  7. Keeler, Emmett B. & Melnick, Glenn & Zwanziger, Jack, 1999. "The changing effects of competition on non-profit and for-profit hospital pricing behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 69-86, January.
  8. Dranove, David & Ludwick, Richard, 1999. "Competition and pricing by nonprofit hospitals: a reassessment of Lynk's analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-98, January.
  9. John Simpson & Richard Shin, 1998. "Do Nonprofit Hospitals Exercise Market Power?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 141-157.
  10. Hirth, Richard A., 1999. "Consumer information and competition between nonprofit and for-profit nursing homes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 219-240, April.
  11. Keeler, Theodore E & Ying, John S, 1996. "Hospital Costs and Excess Bed Capacity: A Statistical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 470-81, August.
  12. Svorny, Shirley V, 1987. "Physician Licensure: A New Approach to Examining the Role of Professional Interests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 497-509, July.
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