What do Nonprofit hospitals maximize

Why do nonprofit hospitals exist? If they act exactly as for-profit hospitals, then they should be under private ownership. If they act according to some other maximization strategy, what is it? These are the questions that Jill Horwitz and Austin Nichol look to answer in their 2007 NBER working paper. First, let us examine the…

Focused Factories

The popularity of specialty medical facilities (SMF) has increased over the years. The number of Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) has doubled to 3,371 during the past decade. A question remains: are these “Focused Factories” good for society? In an article by Casalino, Devers and Brewster, (“Focused Factories…“) the authors try to answer this question.…

Market for elective surgery

A frequent topic of investigation in health economics is to estimate the elasticity of the demand for medical procedures with respect to wait times.  A paper by Martin, Rice, Jacobs and Smith in the Journal of Health Economics uses quarterly data from 200 English hospitals between 1995-2002 in order to separately estimate the supply and…

Shriner Hospital Corruption

Approximately one year ago today, I wrote about whether or not non-profit hospitals should be tax exempt (“Should Non-Profit Hospitals get a Tax Break?“). Generally, I concluded that they should not. Flash forward to March 2007 and we see that The New York Times has an article titled “In Shriner Spending, A Blurry Line of…

Medical Errors kill between 50k and 100k annually

Most economists believe preferences are monotonic. This means that economic researchers believe the more of something you have (e.g.: money, burritos, cars, friends, etc.) the more well-off you become. This assumption likely holds if we view health as an argument in a person’s utility function; more health generally makes people better off. Putting ‘medical services’…

UCSD Medical Center in the news

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is where I currently attend graduate school.  The UCSD Medical Center has been in some hot water lately. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services has alleged that UCSD has overcharged Medicare $48 million for pension costs.  According to a UCSD Guardian…