Does the public sector outperform the nonprofit and for-profit sectors? Evidence from a national panel study on nursing home quality and access
Are public and private organizations fundamentally different? This question has been among the most enduring inquiries in public administration. Our study explores the impact of organizational ownership on two complementary aspects of performance: service quality and access to services for impoverished clients. Derived from public management research on performance determinants and nursing home care literature, our hypotheses stipulate that public, nonprofit, and forprofit nursing homes use different approaches to balance the strategic tradeoff between two aspects of performance. Panel data on 14,423 facilities were analyzed to compare measures of quality and access across three sectors using different estimation methods. Findings indicate that ownership status is associated with critical differences in both quality and access. Public and nonprofit organizations are similar in terms of quality, and both perform significantly better than their forprofit counterparts. When compared to nonprofit and, in some cases, for-profit facilities, public nursing homes have a significantly higher share of Medicaid recipients. The paper proposes strategies to address the identified long-term care divide. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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