Get access

Bend the healthcare cost curve without pain? The health outcome after the Medicare reimbursement cut in 1997

Authors

  • Jing Hua Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Management and Administration, Macau University of Science and Technology, Taipa, Macau, China
    • Correspondence to: J. H. Zhang, Faculty of Management and Administration, Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau, China. E-mail: jhuzhang@must.edu.mo

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Objective

This study examines whether the hospital-acquired infection (HAI) rates in hospitals in Pennsylvania of the USA have increased after reimbursement reductions, based on the Balance Budget Act of 1997.

Methods

This study used patient discharge data from 1994 to 2002 from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and analyzed the pre-post changes of the HAI rates in a hospital group, which had received a high level of reimbursement cuts, comparing this with a control group, using ordinary least squares regression analysis.

Results

Seven hundred six hospital-year records from 89 different hospitals in Pennsylvania during 1994–2002 were examined. No statistically significant changes in the difference of the HAI rates were found between the hospital groups with high and low levels of financial impacts from the reimbursement cut in the short or long run.

Conclusions

After the implementation of the Medicare reimbursement cut by the Balance Budget Act of 1997, the HAI rates among hospitals in Pennsylvanian in the USA did not statistically significantly increase. The results suggest that, in cost-saving healthcare reform, hospitals may not operate a simple cost-quality trade-off. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary