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Inquiry. 2012 Spring;49(1):65-74.

The relationship of hospital quality and cost per case in Hawaii.

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  • 1Hawaii Medical Service Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii, P.O. Box 860, Honolulu, HI 96808-0860, USA. jack_ashby@hmsa.com


One of the leading questions of our time is whether high-quality care leads to lower health care costs. Using data from Hawaii hospitals, this paper addresses the relationship of overall cost per case to a composite measure of the quality of inpatient care and a 30-day readmission rate. We found that low-cost hospitals tend to have the highest quality but the worst readmission performance. Change in quality and change in cost were also negatively correlated, but not statistically significant. We conclude that high-quality hospital care does not have to cost more, but that the dynamics of the readmission rate differ substantially from other quality dimensions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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