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EU Study Finds Effect of Price on Quality of Care in Hospital Setting Dependent on Condition, Resource Utilization

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An EU-funded study sought to provide an overview of the existing evidence regarding how price affects the quality of care in the hospital setting. The study found that the relationship between cost/price and the quality of care seems to depend on the condition and specific resource utilization. 

For the study, the quality of care was assessed using different outcome and process indicators. The outcome indicators comprised the following five main categories: mortality, readmission, complication, composite measures, and quality of life indexes. The primary study outcome of interest was the direction and statistical significance of the reported association between the hospital cost/price and the quality of care.

The study found that the proportion of studies that detected a significantly positive association between the unit cost/price and the unit quality of care is higher when a) price/reimbursement is used; b) process measures are used; c) the focus is on AMI, CHF, and stroke patients; and d) the methodological approach used to address confounding is more sophisticated.

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