Geographic Disparities in United States Hospital Capacity

Interesting study from Hegland et al. (2022) in HSR. The authors used data from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), American Hospital Association Survey, Hospital Compare, and American Community Survey data and find that:

Non-Hispanic Black individuals live in zip codes supplied, on average, 0.11 more beds per 1000 population (SE = 0.01) than places where non-Hispanic White individuals live. However, the hospitals supplying this capacity have 0.36 fewer staff per bed (SE=0.03) and perform worse on many care quality measures. Zip codes in the most urban parts of America have the least hospital capacity (2.11 beds per 1000 persons; SEM=0.01) from across the rural-urban continuum. While more rural areas have markedly higher capacity levels, urban areas have advantages in staff and capital per bed. We do not find systematic differences in care quality between rural and urban areas.

The full article is here.

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