Hospital Treatment and Patient Outcomes: Evidence from Capacity Constraints

25 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2016 Last revised: 24 Aug 2020

See all articles by Samuel A. Kleiner

Samuel A. Kleiner

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Understanding the relationship between health care service provision and patient
outcomes has become more important as providers are increasingly evaluated on the efficacy of
their care delivery. This study examines this relationship using an approach that recognizes the
role that capacity constraints at hospitals within a local area serve in patient allocation. Hourly
data on hospital patient censuses over a 12-year period show that hospital assignment is
influenced by supply-side, hospital-level constraints on the number of empty beds available for
the period during which treatment is sought. Using this as a source of variation, the estimates
indicate that treatment at a more procedure-intensive hospital lowers readmission rates, and that
the effect is particularly pronounced for unplanned hospital readmissions. The results reinforce
the importance of identifying the relationship between treatment intensity and outcomes in a
causal framework and indicate that these hospitals are providing higher quality care.

Keywords: Healthcare Utilization, Hospitals, Outcomes

JEL Classification: I10, I11, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Kleiner, Samuel A., Hospital Treatment and Patient Outcomes: Evidence from Capacity Constraints (July 2019). Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 175, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2771335

Samuel A. Kleiner (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Federal Trade Commission ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

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