NEWS: Study Finds Hospital Quality Not Necessarily Dependent on Cost

There is no evidence that hospitals that spend more money on services for patients at the end of life provide them with better care, and in some cases they provide worse care, according to a new study published in the Web edition of Health Affairs, a health policy journal.
Researchers studied the cost of care at 2,172 hospitals nationwide for Medicare beneficiaries at the end of life who had heart attacks, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. At the low end, hospitals spent an average $16,059; at the high end, they spent an average of $34,742.
But, after researchers factored in specific quality indicators, they found either no association or a negative link with spending.
“The absence of positive correlations suggests that some institutions achieve exemplary performance on quality measures in settings that feature lower intensity of care,” the authors said. “This finding highlights the need for reporting information on both quality and spending.”

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