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J Health Econ. 2009 Dec;28(6):1154-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Reacting to rankings: evidence from "America's Best Hospitals".

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  • 1The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States.


Rankings and report cards have become a popular way of providing information in a variety of domains. I estimate the response to rankings in the hospital market and find that hospitals that improve their rank are able to attract significantly more patients. The average hospital in my sample experiences a 5% change in non-emergency, Medicare patient volume from year to year due to rank changes. These findings have implications regarding the competitiveness of hospital markets and the effect that the dissemination of quality information in hospital markets can have on individual choice.

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