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Does hospital competition improve health care delivery in China?

Jay Pan (), Xuezheng Qin (), Qian Li, Joseph P. Messina and Paul L. Delamater

China Economic Review, 2015, vol. 33, issue C, 179-199

Abstract: This paper analyzes whether hospital competition is associated with improved health care delivery in China, particularly in the dimensions of health care quality and cost. We explore the differences in competition over time and across regions to examine the relationship in an environment wherein the hospital industry is largely state owned, the price of medical care is partially regulated, and hospitals can compete on both quality and cost. Using provincial- and individual-level data, along with a set of outcome indicators, we find that hospital competition is significantly correlated with lower observation room mortality, shorter outpatient waiting time, and fewer outpatient costs, while we do not find evidence that would suggest negative influences of competition on the other measures of hospital performance. Our results offer new evidence in support of competition-based reforms in China's health care sector and provide implications for other developing countries facing similar health care challenges.

Keywords: Hospital competition; Health care quality; Health care cost; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I18 L10 L30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2015.02.002

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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