Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Effect of publicly reported surgical quality measures and outcomes

There has been a shift towards making quality data publicly available for patients to examine when choosing physicians.  A commentary by Burns et al. (2016) finds that there is mixed evidence regarding whether making surgery-related mortality data publicly available improves patient outcomes (see table below). Article Time Period Country Participants Key Findings Hannan 1994 1989-1992 US NY State cardiac […]

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Do Surgeons Strategically Select Patients to Improve Scores on Health Care Quality Report Cards?

Do report cards improve quality or simply incentivize hospitals and physicians to stratetically choose which patients to treat? To answer this question, a paper by Chen and Meinecke (2012) examine coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) report cards introduced in Pennsylvania.  Report cards can improve quality but they can also induce selection behavior not only by […]

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Certificate of Need Laws and Cardiac Surgery

Certificate of Need (CON) were enacted in order to try to stem the wave of increasing health care costs. In order for hospitals or other providers to expand or build a new facility, CON requires these organizations to get prior government approval. The logic was that when providers expanded medical facilities, supplier-induced demand would increase […]

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