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Who are the Patients? Exploring Approaches to Rural Hospital Market Area Determination

Ryan Yonk (), Roberta Herzberg, Chris Fawson () and Christopher Martin
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Roberta Herzberg: Department of Political Science, Utah State University, 0725 Old Main Hill Logan Utah 84322.
Christopher Martin: Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University, 0725 Old Main Hill Logan Utah 84322.

E3 Journal of Business Management and Economics., 2013, vol. 4, issue 1, 020-030

Abstract: For rural hospitals, market area determination is an essential step in crafting effectual policy and furthering research. Competing methodologies for determining a hospital’s market area produce different results. Using a sample research question dealing with the overlap of public lands and rural hospital market areas, we use a Breaking Point model and a Zip Code model to determine the market area for rural hospitals in 6 western states. Using GIS analysis, we overlaid these market areas with public lands to determine the percentage of market area comprised of public land. We find the difference in the variables of interest between the models to be significant at the 0.05 level. We propose a standard for approaching and choosing from competing models in the methodological steps of future research and policy: 1) A description of several potential models available for the analysis; 2) A critical evaluation of each model’s inherent strengths and weaknesses; 3) A heuristic comparison of the applicability of each model to the specific problem; and 4) A defense of (and acknowledgment of threats to) the chosen model’s validity in reference to the specific issue addressed by the research or agency.

Keywords: Area Determination; Health Services Research; Hospitals; Health Policy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-01
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