Study: More Expensive Care May Be Better

Patients who are treated at higher spending healthcare organizations may experience better outcomes than those treated at lower spending healthcare organizations, according to research in The National Bureau of Economic Research reported by the Washington Post.

For the study, researchers compared outcomes for New York City residents, who were randomly assigned to different hospitals based on ambulance transportation from 2000 to 2006. Their analysis showed individuals treated at higher spending hospitals experienced 20 to 30 percent lower mortality rates than those treated at lower spending hospitals.


The researchers found this pattern persisted when controlling for teaching hospitals and high-tech hospitals, which are known to spend more on healthcare and report better patient outcomes. Their findings suggest higher spending hospitals see better outcomes due to providing more treatments than their lower spending counterparts.

These study findings are in stark contrast to research conducted by Dartmouth Atlas, which suggested high healthcare spending may not lead to improved outcomes. The researchers who penned the NBER article said the differing outcomes may be attributed to the two parties' research methods.

Related Articles on Patient Outcomes:

A "Lean" Vision Drives Stanford Hospital & Clinics Performance: Q&A With CEO Amir Dan Rubin

Boston Medical Center Joins BCBS Alternative Quality Contract

Pay for Performance May Not Improve Mortality Rates

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