Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 May-Jun;28(3):897-906. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.3.897.

Measuring efficiency: the association of hospital costs and quality of care.

Author information

  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Providers with lower costs may be more efficient and, therefore, provide better care than those with higher costs. However, the relationship between risk-adjusted costs (often described as efficiency) and quality is not well understood. We examined the relationship between hospitals' risk-adjusted costs and their structural characteristics, nursing levels, quality of care, and outcomes. U.S. hospitals with low risk-adjusted costs were more likely to be for-profit, treat more Medicare patients, and employ fewer nurses. They provided modestly worse care for acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure but had comparable rates of risk-adjusted mortality. We found no evidence that low-cost providers provide better care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk