September 9, 2010

The effect of competition on process and outcome quality of hospital care: An empirical analysis for the Netherlands

Effecten concurrentie tussen ziekenhuizen vooralsnog beperkt

Press release
Concurrentie tussen ziekenhuizen leidt tot snellere diagnosestellingen en een strakkere operatieplanning, maar heeft vooralsnog geen effect op de gezondheid van patiënten.

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Edwin van de Haar
Victoria Shestalova

The paper focuses on the relationship between competition and quality in the Dutch hospital sector. We analyse the period of 2004-2008, in which a healthcare reform took place in the Netherlands, introducing competition in the healthcare sector.

The increased attention to hospital quality and its growing importance in a new institutional environment have resulted in a gradual increase of the voluntary disclosure of quality indicators by Dutch hospitals. We use panel data on Dutch general and academic hospitals in 2004-2008, including both process indicators (e.g., share of operation cancellations on short notice and share of diagnoses within 5 days) and outcome indicators (e.g., mortality rates) of hospital quality.

We take the correlation between the disclosure decision and the level of the disclosed quality indicators explicitly into account by estimating a bivariate model. We find that competition explains differences in performance on process indicators, but not on outcome indicators.


Michiel Bijlsma
Pierre Koning
Victoria Shestalova

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