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This chapter assessed internal and external environmental factors that affect variations in rural hospital profitability with a focus on the impact of the Patient…
This chapter assessed internal and external environmental factors that affect variations in rural hospital profitability with a focus on the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regulations that resulted in the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, as well as four Medicare programs that target rural hospitals. A cross section of 2,114 rural US hospitals operating during 2015 was used. The primary source of data was Medicare Hospital Cost Reports. Ordinary least squares regression with correction for serial correlation, using total margin and operating margin as dependent variables, was employed to ascertain the association between profitability and its correlates.
The mean values for operating margin and total margin were −0.0652 and 0.0259, respectively. Hospital profitability was positively associated with location in a Medicaid expansion state, classification by Medicare as a Critical Access Hospital or Rural Referral Center (total margin only), hospital size, system membership, and occupancy rate. Profitability was negatively associated with average length of stay, government ownership, Medicare and Medicaid share of admissions, teaching status, and unemployment rate.
This chapter found that the Medicaid expansions provided modest help for the financial condition of rural hospitals. However, the estimates for the four targeted Medicare Programs (i.e., Critical Access Hospital, Medicare Dependent, Sole Community Critical Access Hospital, and Rural Referral Center) were either small or not significant (p > 0.10). Therefore, these specially targeted federal programs may have failed to achieve their goals of preserving the financial viability of rural hospitals. This chapter concludes with implications for practice.
Bundled payments for care are an efficient mechanism to align payer, provider, and patient incentives in the provision of health care services for an episode of care. In…
Bundled payments for care are an efficient mechanism to align payer, provider, and patient incentives in the provision of health care services for an episode of care. In this chapter, we use agency theory to examine the evolution of bundled payment programs in private and public payer arrangements, and postulate future directions for bundled payment development as a key component in the provision and payment of health care services.
Since Jan. 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule requiring hospitals publish their “standard charges” (also called “charge description…
Since Jan. 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule requiring hospitals publish their “standard charges” (also called “charge description masters” or “chargemasters”) in a public, machine-readable format has been in effect. The research at hand assesses hospital compliance with the federal regulation. In addition, a sentiment analysis of the chargemaster webpages compared to hospital homepages is performed to assess the consumer friendliness of the content in terms of language usage. A stratified sample of 212 hospitals was used to conduct observations. Strata were based on patient satisfaction scores drawn from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of health care Providers and Systems survey, and controls for hospital bed size and geographic US census region were utilized from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey. Descriptive statistics are presented, and chi-square testing is used to test for statistically significant differences. Key results are presented for compliance and sentiment. Most hospitals' websites are not presenting chargemaster data in a way that is readily collectable or comparable to other facilities. In addition, the tone of language used on chargemaster transparency webpages is generally more negative than that of hospitals' homepages. In particular, the messaging on transparency pages routinely suggests consumers to not use the data for decision-making purposes.
According to the Census, racial/ethnic minority populations are growing at such a fast rate that by 2050 more than 50% of the population will belong to a minority group…
According to the Census, racial/ethnic minority populations are growing at such a fast rate that by 2050 more than 50% of the population will belong to a minority group (US Census, 2001). The increasing diversity of the U.S. population is one of the many changes that health care delivery organizations need to proactively address in order to better serve their community and improve their performance. In this paper, we argue that cultural competency not only is important from a societal perspective, i.e., reducing health disparities, but can also be a strategy for health care organizations to improve quality, lower cost, and attract customers. We provide detailed recommendations for health care leaders and managers to adopt in order to successfully serve a diverse patient population.
The hospital industry is again experiencing a wave of consolidation as formerly independent hospitals are acquired by multihospital systems. The effects of these…
The hospital industry is again experiencing a wave of consolidation as formerly independent hospitals are acquired by multihospital systems. The effects of these consolidations on operating costs and care quality have been researched extensively. However, in addition to these benefits, many hospitals also hope that joining a multihospital system will improve their access to capital. Improved access to capital could be a particularly important benefit for independent, not-for-profit (NFP) hospitals because these hospitals face capital constraints since they lack access to publicly issued equity. Despite being an often-cited benefit of system membership, access to capital has received little attention from researchers. We draw on financial theory to identify several mechanisms through which system membership might improve access to capital for acquired NFP hospitals. We develop and test hypotheses using data from an earlier period of hospital consolidation during which hospitals were even more financially constrained than they are at present. Using propensity score matched control hospitals, we examine changes in leverage that occurred after independent hospitals joined multihospital systems. We find evidence that system membership allows under-leveraged hospitals to increase their debt holdings, suggesting that system membership may help NFP hospitals attain an optimal capital structure.
Purpose – The numbers of health care transparency initiatives are increasing. Despite the growing availability of quality data, there seems to be a shortage of evidence…
Purpose – The numbers of health care transparency initiatives are increasing. Despite the growing availability of quality data, there seems to be a shortage of evidence about the effects and effectiveness of such initiatives. The aim of this systematic review is to document the effects of transparency, defined as the public release of quality performance data, on hospital care outcomes.
Design/methodology/approach – Through a review of the literature, we chose 46 keywords to use in our searches and focused on empirical studies published in English between 2010 and 2015. The use of combinations of these keywords in searches of four databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library) generated 13,849 publications. The removal of duplicates and exclusion of studies that were not empirical or not relevant to transparency and quality resulted in 39 studies to be reviewed.
Findings – Our review of the literature confirmed the growth of health care transparency efforts, led by the United States, and found mixed results regarding the effects of transparency on hospital care outcomes. For example, mortality, the most frequently researched performance measure (n = 15), exhibited this mixed pattern by having studies showing a reduction (n = 4), increase (n = 1), mixed findings (n = 4), and no significant relationship (n = 6) as a result of public release. We also found a limited number of articles related to unintended consequences of public reporting. When compared with earlier systematic reviews, there seems to be a trend in the reduction of unintended consequences. Therefore, we recommend exploration of this potential trend in future studies empirically.
Practical Implications – The research findings summarized in this systematic review can be used to understand the results of existing transparency efforts and to develop future transparency initiatives that may better enhance hospital quality performance.
Originality/value – This is the latest and most comprehensive systematic review summarizing the effects of transparency of quality metrics on hospital care outcomes.
Public reports of provider-specific patient outcomes aim to help consumers select suppliers of medical services. Yet, in an environment of rapidly changing medical technology and increasingly heterogeneous patient populations, and because they necessarily reflect the experience of other patients who received care in the past, such reports may be of limited value in helping patients forecast the probability of an adverse outcome for each provider they are considering. I propose that providers underwrite insurance policies that promptly pay patients a predetermined sum after an adverse outcome. Patients can use such outcome warranties to infer quality differences among providers easily and reliably. In addition, outcome warranties efficiently reward both providers and patients for reducing the risk of adverse outcomes and thereby improve the safety and affordability of health care. As such, outcome warranties help advance four important goals of health care management: reduction of financial risk, recruitment and retention of physicians, remediation of adverse outcomes, and raising the provider's reputation.
The hospital–physician relationship (HPR) has been the focus of many scholars given the potential impact of this relationship on hospitals’ ability to achieve socially and…
The hospital–physician relationship (HPR) has been the focus of many scholars given the potential impact of this relationship on hospitals’ ability to achieve socially and organizationally desirable health care outcomes. Hospitals are dominated by professionals and share many commonalities with professional service firms (PSFs). In this chapter, we explore an alternative HPR based on the governance models prevalent in PSFs.
We summarize the issues presented by current HPRs and discuss the governance models dominant in PSFs.
We identify the non-equity partnership model as a governance archetype for hospitals; this model accounts for both the professional dominance in health care decisions and the increasing demand for higher accountability and efficiency.
There should be careful consideration of existing regulations such as the Stark law and the antikickback statue before the proposed governance model and the compensation structure for physician partners is adopted.
While our governance archetype is based on a review of the literature on HPRs and PSFs, further research is needed to test our model.
Given the dominance of not-for-profit (NFP) ownership in the hospital industry, we believe the non-equity partnership model can help align physician incentives with those of the hospital, and strengthen HPRs to meet the demands of the changing health care environment.
This is the first chapter to explore an alternative hospital–physician integration strategy by examining the governance models in PSFs, which similar to hospitals have a high reliance on a predominantly professional staff.
Public hospitals have long been major players in the US health care delivery system. However, many public hospitals have privatized during the past few decades. The…
Public hospitals have long been major players in the US health care delivery system. However, many public hospitals have privatized during the past few decades. The purpose of this chapter was to investigate the impact of public hospitals' privatization on community orientation (CO). This longitudinal study used a national sample of nonfederal acute-care public hospitals (1997–2010). Negative binomial regression models with hospital-level and year fixed effects were used to estimate the relationships. Our findings suggested that privatization was associated with a 14% increase in the number of CO activities, on average, compared with the number of CO activities prior to privatization. Public hospitals privatizing to for-profit status exhibited a 29% increase in the number of CO activities, relative to an insignificant 9% increase for public hospitals privatizing to not-for-profit status.