AAMC study finds teaching hospitals similar in cost to nonteaching hospitals

Teaching hospitals may not be more expensive than nonteaching hospitals, according to new research published in JAMA Network Open.

Examining a sample of nearly 1.25 million hospitalizations across 3,064 hospitals, researchers concluded Medicare patients hospitalized at major teaching hospitals had lower total standardized costs 30 days after admission compared to nonteaching hospitals and similar costs at the 90-day mark.

Initial hospitalizations were more costly at major teaching hospitals, but they saved on readmissions and post-acute services costs, according to the report. This was "largely consistent" across the 15 medical conditions and six surgical procedures included in the study.

"These findings appear to raise doubts that care at teaching hospitals is necessarily more expensive than care at nonteaching hospitals," the researchers conclude.

The Association of American Medical Colleges funded the research.

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