Hospital Competition, Managed Care, and Mortality After Hospitalization for Medical Conditions in California

Published in: Health Services Research, v. 42, no. 2, Apr. 2007, p. 682-705

by Jeannette Rogowski, Arvind Jain, Jose J. Escarce

Read More

Access further information on this document at Health Services Research

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of hospital competition and health maintenance organization (HMO) penetration on mortality after hospitalization for six medical conditions in California. DATA SOURCE: Linked hospital discharge and vital statistics data for short-term general hospitals in California in the period 1994-1999. The study sample included adult patients hospitalized for one of the following conditions: acute myocardial infarction (N=227,446), hip fracture (N=129,944), stroke (N=237,248), gastrointestinal hemorrhage (GIH, N=216,443), congestive heart failure (CHF, N=355,613), and diabetes (N=154,837). STUDY DESIGN: The outcome variable was 30-day mortality. The authors estimated multivariate logistic regression models for each study condition with hospital competition, HMO penetration, hospital characteristics, and patient severity measures as explanatory variables. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Higher hospital competition was associated with lower 30-day mortality for three to five of the six study conditions, depending on the choice of competition measure, and this finding was robust to a variety of sensitivity analyses. Higher HMO penetration was associated with lower mortality for GIH and CHF. CONCLUSIONS. Hospitals that faced more competition and hospitals in market areas with higher HMO penetration provided higher quality of care for adult patients with medical conditions in California. Studies using linked hospital discharge and vital statistics data from other states should be conducted to determine whether these findings are generalizable.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.