Rural hospital ownership: medical service provision, market mix, and spillover effects.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To test whether nonprofit, for-profit, or government hospital ownership affects medical service provision in rural hospital markets, either directly or through the spillover effects of ownership mix. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Data are from the American Hospital Association, U.S. Census, CMS Healthcare Cost Report Information System and Prospective Payment System Minimum Data File, and primary data collection for geographic coordinates. The sample includes all nonfederal, general medical, and surgical hospitals located outside of metropolitan statistical areas and within the continental United States from 1988 to 2005. STUDY DESIGN: We estimate multivariate regression models to examine the effects of (1) hospital ownership and (2) hospital ownership mix within rural hospital markets on profitable versus unprofitable medical service offerings. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Rural nonprofit hospitals are more likely than for-profit hospitals to offer unprofitable services, many of which are underprovided services. Nonprofits respond less than for-profits to changes in service profitability. Nonprofits with more for-profit competitors offer more profitable services and fewer unprofitable services than those with fewer for-profit competitors. CONCLUSIONS: Rural hospital ownership affects medical service provision at the hospital and market levels. Nonprofit hospital regulation should reflect both the direct and spillover effects of ownership.
Project description:Fiscal constraints faced by Medicare are leading to policies designed to reduce expenditures. Evidence of the effect of reduced reimbursement on the mortality of Medicare patients discharged from all major hospital service lines is limited.We modeled risk-adjusted 30-day mortality of patients discharged from 21 hospital service lines as a function of service line profitability, service line time trends, and hospital service line and year-fixed effects. We simulated the effect of alternative revenue-neutral reimbursement policies on mortality. Our sample included all Medicare discharges from PPS-eligible hospitals (1997, 2001, and 2005).The results reveal a statistically significant inverse relationship between changes in profitability and mortality. A $0.19 average reduction in profit per $1.00 of costs led to a 0.010-0.020 percentage-point increase in mortality rates (p < .001). Mortality in newly unprofitable service lines is significantly more sensitive to reduced payment generosity than in service lines that remain profitable. Policy simulations that target service line inequities in payment generosity result in lower mortality rates, roughly 700-13,000 fewer deaths nationally.The policy simulations raise questions about the trade-offs implicit in universal reductions in reimbursement. The effect of reduced payment generosity on mortality could be mitigated by targeting highly profitable services only for lower reimbursement.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Standardization in production is common in multientity chain organizations. Although chains are prominent in the nursing home sector, standardization in care has not been studied. One way nursing home chains may standardize is by controlling the level and mix of staffing in member homes. OBJECTIVES:To examine the extent to which standardization occurred in staffing, its relative presence across different types of chains, and whether facilities became more standardized following acquisition by a chain. RESEARCH DESIGN:We estimated predictors of the difference between facility and chain staffing using Generalized Estimating Equations with 2000-2010 data. SUBJECTS:This study included nursing homes nationally, excluding hospital-based homes and homes in Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. MEASURES:Chain ownership was coded from text identifying chain names. Two nurse staffing measures were used: staff hours per resident day and staff mix. RESULTS:Very large for-profit chain nursing homes and large nonprofits had less variation in staff hours per resident day (P<0.001) but greater variation in staffing mix (P<0.001) compared with the chain average nationally. Large for-profit chains and medium nonprofit chains had greater dispersion on staff hours per resident day (P<0.001), while large nonprofit chains had greater dispersion in staffing mix (P<0.001). The difference between facility and chain staffing decreased over time. CONCLUSIONS:The largest chains (for-profit and nonprofit) had less staffing variation compared with national standards, suggesting they were best at implementing corporate practices. Following ownership changes, staffing converged towards chain averages over time, suggesting standardization takes time to implement.
Project description:BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Improving quality performance in home health is an increasingly high priority. The objective of this study was to examine trends in industry performance over time using three quality measures: a composite quality metric (Q index), an infection prevention measure (vaccination verification), and an outcome measure (hospital avoidance). DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS/MEASURES:We linked Home Health Compare and Provider of Services data from 2012 to 2016, which included 39 211 observations during the 5-year study period and 7670 agencies in 2016. The Q index was developed to allow comparability over time, equally weighting the contributions of each element. After examining summary statistics, we developed three regression models stratified by ownership (for-profit/nonprofit agency) and included two constructs of nurse staffing, in addition to controlling for known confounders. RESULTS:Most agencies (80.4%) were for-profit agencies. The Q index and vaccination verification improved substantially over time, but there was no change in hospital avoidance. Ownership status was associated with all three measures (P?<?.001). Registered nurse staffing (relative to licensed practical nurses and home health aides) was associated with higher Q index and vaccination verification (P?<?.001). CONCLUSION:The Q index allows for assessment of trends over time in home healthcare. Ownership and nurse staffing are important factors in the quality of care. The overall home care market is driven by for-profit agencies, but their characteristics and outcomes differ from nonprofit agencies. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:1859-1865, 2019.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effects of facility-level factors on 30-day unplanned risk-adjusted hospital readmission after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). DESIGN:Study using 100% Medicare claims data, covering 269,306 discharges from 1094 IRFs between October 2010 and September 2011. SETTING:IRFs with at least 30 discharges. PARTICIPANTS:A total number of 1094 IRFs (N=269,306) serving Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. INTERVENTIONS:Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Risk-standardized readmission rate (RSRR) for 30-day hospital readmission. RESULTS:Profit status was the only provider-level IRF characteristic significantly associated with unplanned readmissions. For-profit IRFs had a significantly higher RSRR (13.26±0.51) than did nonprofit IRFs (13.15±0.47) (P<.001). After controlling for all other facility characteristics (except for accreditation status because of its collinearity with facility type), for-profit IRFs had a 0.1% point higher RSRR than did nonprofit IRFs, and census region was the only significant region-level characteristic, with the South showing the highest RSRR of all regions (type III test, P=.005 for both). CONCLUSIONS:Our findings support the inclusion of profit status on the IRF Compare website (a platform including IRF comparators to indicate quality of services). For-profit IRFs had a higher RSRR than did nonprofit IRFs for Medicare beneficiaries. The South had a higher RSRR than did other regions. The RSRR difference between for-profit and nonprofit IRFs could be due to the combined effects of organizational and regional factors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Although most American patients with ESKD become eligible for Medicare by their fourth month of dialysis, some never do. Information about where patients with limited health insurance receive maintenance dialysis has been lacking.<h4>Methods</h4>We identified patients initiating maintenance dialysis (2008-2015) from the US Renal Data System, defining patients as "safety-net reliant" if they were uninsured or had only Medicaid coverage at dialysis onset and had not qualified for Medicare by the fourth dialysis month. We examined four dialysis facility ownership categories according to for-profit/nonprofit status and ownership (chain versus independent). We assessed whether patients who were safety-net reliant were more likely to initiate dialysis at certain facility types. We also examined hospital-based affiliation.<h4>Results</h4>The proportion of patients <65 years initiating dialysis who were safety-net reliant increased significantly over time, from 11% to 14%; 73% of such patients started dialysis at for-profit/chain-owned facilities compared to 76% of all patients starting dialysis. Patients who were safety-net reliant had a 30% higher relative risk of initiating dialysis at nonprofit/independently owned versus for-profit/independently owned facilities (odds ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.24 to 1.36); they had slightly lower relative risks of initiating dialysis at for-profit and non-profit chain-owned facilities, and were more likely to receive dialysis at hospital-based facilities. These findings primarily reflect increased likelihood of dialysis among patients without insurance at certain facility types.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although most patients who were safety-net reliant received care at for-profit/chain-owned facilities, they were disproportionately cared for at nonprofit/independently owned and hospital-based facilities. Ongoing loss of market share of nonprofit/independently owned outpatient dialysis facilities may affect safety net-reliant populations.
Project description:To describe the amount of hospital outpatient care provided to the uninsured and its association with Medicare payment rate cuts following the implementation of Medicare's Outpatient Prospective Payment System.We use hospital outpatient discharge records from Florida from 1997 through 2008.We estimate multivariate regression models of hospital outpatient care provided to the uninsured in separate samples of nonprofit and for-profit hospitals.Hospital outpatient departments provide significant amounts of care to the uninsured. As Medicare payment rates fall, total charges and the share of charges for outpatient visits by the uninsured decrease at nonprofit hospitals. At for-profit hospitals, the share of outpatient care provided to uninsured patients increases, but there is no significant change in the number of uninsured discharges.Nonprofit and for-profit hospitals respond differently to reductions in Medicare payments; thus, studies of the impact of legislated Medicare payment cuts on care of the uninsured should account for differences in hospital ownership in communities. Given that outpatient care to the uninsured includes preventive and diagnostic care procedures, reductions in this care following payment cuts may adversely affect long-run health and health care costs in communities dominated by nonprofit hospitals.
Project description:To determine whether profit status is associated with differences in hospital days per patient, an outcome that may also be influenced by provider financial goals.United States Renal Data System Standard Analysis Files and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cost reports.We compared the number of hospital days per patient per year across for-profit and nonprofit dialysis facilities during 2003. To address possible referral bias in the assignment of patients to dialysis facilities, we used an instrumental variable regression method and adjusted for selected patient-specific factors, facility characteristics such as size and chain affiliation, as well as metrics of market competition.All patients who received in-center hemodialysis at any time in 2003 and for whom Medicare was the primary payer were included (N=170,130; roughly two-thirds of the U.S. hemodialysis population). Patients dialyzed at hospital-based facilities and patients with no dialysis facilities within 30 miles of their residence were excluded.Overall, adjusted hospital days per patient were 17+/-5 percent lower in nonprofit facilities. The difference between nonprofit and for-profit facilities persisted with the correction for referral bias. There was no association between hospital days per patient per year and chain affiliation, but larger facilities had inferior outcomes (facilities with 73 or more patients had a 14+/-1.7 percent increase in hospital days relative to facilities with 35 or fewer patients). Differences in outcomes among for-profit and nonprofit facilities translated to 1,600 patient-years in hospital that could be averted each year if the hospital utilization rates in for-profit facilities were to decrease to the level of their nonprofit counterparts.Hospital days per patient-year were statistically and clinically significantly lower among nonprofit dialysis providers. These findings suggest that the indirect incentives in Medicare's current payment system may provide insufficient incentive for for-profit providers to achieve optimal patient outcomes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In response to the increasing cancer prevalence and the evolving health service landscape across the public and private health sectors in Australia, this study aimed to map cancer services and identify factors associated with service provision and important service gaps.<h4>Methods</h4>A prospective, cross-sectional survey was conducted throughout 2016. Extensive search strategies identified Government or privately-owned, hospital or community-based healthcare organisations with dedicated cancer services. One nominated staff member from each organisation answered a purpose specific online/paper questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, standardised rates, and single level and multilevel multinomial logistic regression were used to analyse the data. Analysis was augmented with a qualitative descriptive analysis of open-ended questions.<h4>Results</h4>From the 295 eligible organisations with a cancer service in Australia, 93.2% participated in the survey. After adjusting for remoteness, for-profit companies were significantly more likely than Government operated services to provide only one or two types of cancer services (e.g. radiotherapy) in a limited range of settings (e.g. day hospital with no in-patient or home care) (p?<?0.001) and less likely to provide comprehensive cancer services (p?<?0.001). After adjusting for ownership and the respondent's role in the organisation, respondents located in remote regions of Australia were more likely to identify cancer services that are dependent upon specialist medical practitioners as the most important service gaps in their region (p?=?0.003). Despite 76.0% of organisations across Australia offering some type of supportive care or survivorship services, providers identified this group of services as the most pressing service gaps in major cities, rural and remote regions alike (standardised rate: 47.9% (95%CI: 43.6-57.4%); p?<?.000). This included the need for improved integration, outreach and affordability.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The broad range of cancer services, settings and ownership identified by this survey highlights the complexity of the Australian healthcare system that cancer survivors must navigate and the challenges of providing comprehensive cancer care particularly in rural and remote regions. Whilst the significant role of supportive care and survivorship services are increasingly being recognised, the findings from this survey support calls for innovative service models and funding mechanisms that expand the focus from preventing and treating cancer to supporting cancer survivors throughout the cancer continuum and promoting the delivery of integrated and equitable cancer care across the public and private sectors.
Project description:Importance:For-profit (vs nonprofit) dialysis facilities have historically had lower kidney transplantation rates, but it is unknown if the pattern holds for living donor and deceased donor kidney transplantation, varies by facility ownership, or has persisted over time in a nationally representative population. Objective:To determine the association between dialysis facility ownership and placement on the deceased donor kidney transplantation waiting list, receipt of a living donor kidney transplant, or receipt of a deceased donor kidney transplant. Design, Setting, and Participants:Retrospective cohort study that included 1?478?564 patients treated at 6511 US dialysis facilities. Adult patients with incident end-stage kidney disease from the US Renal Data System (2000-2016) were linked with facility ownership (Dialysis Facility Compare) and characteristics (Dialysis Facility Report). Exposures:The primary exposure was dialysis facility ownership, which was categorized as nonprofit small chains, nonprofit independent facilities, for-profit large chains (>1000 facilities), for-profit small chains (<1000 facilities), and for-profit independent facilities. Main Outcomes and Measures:Access to kidney transplantation was defined as time from initiation of dialysis to placement on the deceased donor kidney transplantation waiting list, receipt of a living donor kidney transplant, or receipt of a deceased donor kidney transplant. Cumulative incidence differences and multivariable Cox models assessed the association between dialysis facility ownership and each outcome. Results:Among 1?478?564 patients, the median age was 66 years (interquartile range, 55-76 years), with 55.3% male, and 28.1% non-Hispanic black patients. Eighty-seven percent of patients received care at a for-profit dialysis facility. A total of 109?030 patients (7.4%) received care at 435 nonprofit small chain facilities; 78?287 (5.3%) at 324 nonprofit independent facilities; 483?988 (32.7%) at 2239 facilities of large for-profit chain 1; 482?689 (32.6%) at 2082 facilities of large for-profit chain 2; 225?890 (15.3%) at 997 for-profit small chain facilities; and 98?680 (6.7%) at 434 for-profit independent facilities. During the study period, 121?680 patients (8.2%) were placed on the deceased donor waiting list, 23?762 (1.6%) received a living donor kidney transplant, and 49?290 (3.3%) received a deceased donor kidney transplant. For-profit facilities had lower 5-year cumulative incidence differences for each outcome vs nonprofit facilities (deceased donor waiting list: -13.2% [95% CI, -13.4% to -13.0%]; receipt of a living donor kidney transplant: -2.3% [95% CI, -2.4% to -2.3%]; and receipt of a deceased donor kidney transplant: -4.3% [95% CI, -4.4% to -4.2%]). Adjusted Cox analyses showed lower relative rates for each outcome among patients treated at all for-profit vs all nonprofit dialysis facilities: deceased donor waiting list (hazard ratio [HR], 0.36 [95% CI, 0.35 to 0.36]); receipt of a living donor kidney transplant (HR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.51 to 0.54]); and receipt of a deceased donor kidney transplant (HR, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.44 to 0.45]). Conclusions and Relevance:Among US patients with end-stage kidney disease, receiving dialysis at for-profit facilities compared with nonprofit facilities was associated with a lower likelihood of accessing kidney transplantation. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this association.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Currently there is no expert consensus regarding what activities and programs constitute hospital community benefits. In China, the hospital community benefit movement started gaining attention after the recent health care system reform in 2009. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the nonprofit hospital sector have struggled to define community benefit for many years. More recently, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s new "community benefit" requirements, nonprofit hospitals further developed these benefits to qualify for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.<h4>Methods</h4>The Delphi survey method was used to explore activities and/or programs that are considered to be hospital community benefits in China and the United States. Twenty Chinese and 19 American of academics, senior hospital managers and policy makers were recruited as experts and participated in two rounds of surveys. The survey questionnaire was first developed in China using the 5-point Likert scale to rate the support for certain hospital community benefits activities; it was then translated into English. The questionnaires were modified after the first round of Delphi. After two rounds of surveys, only responses with a minimum of 70 percent support rate were accepted by the research team.<h4>Results</h4>Delphi survey results show that experts from China and the U.S. agree on 68.75 percent of HCB activities and/ or programs, including emergency preparedness, social benefit activities, bad debt /Medicaid shortfall, disaster relief, environmental protection, health promotion and education, education and research, charity care, medical services with positive externality, provision of low profit services, and sliding scale fees.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In China, experts believe that healthcare is a "human right" and that the government has the main responsibility of ensuring affordable access to healthcare for its citizens. Meanwhile, healthcare is considered a commodity in the U.S., and many Americans, especially those who are vulnerable and low-income, are not able to afford and access needed healthcare services. Though the U.S. government recognized the importance of community benefit and included a section in the ACA that outlines new community benefit requirements for nonprofit hospitals, there is a need to issue specific policies regarding the amounts and types of community benefits non-profit hospitals should provide to receive tax exemption status.