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  • Thumbnail for A quantitative analysis of quality of emergency room care
    A quantitative analysis of quality of emergency room care by Tukan, Andrea

    The United States healthcare industry is in need of reform to address the high financial cost of medical care, the dwindling health of the population, and the disorganization, complexity, and high cost of insurance. These healthcare inefficiencies and barriers to treatment create patient quality of care issues. Emergency medicine is a growing sector of healthcare, and this thesis examines how the macro level issues of the healthcare industry effect and relate to patient quality of care in the emergency room. Demographic and patient registration individual patient data was used to quantitatively examine the care received in the emergency room, finding that barriers to quality of emergency medical care more commonly lie in preexisting health issues or socioeconomic factors unrelated to the medical care actually received in the emergency room.

  • Thumbnail for  Hospital price variations : paying for the illusion of quality
    Hospital price variations : paying for the illusion of quality by Munyao, Benjamin

    Existing literature on hospital pricing and price variation is split on whether price differentials in hospital billing are demand or supply led. To harmonize this literature, we use data from the Medicare Hospital Compare website to evaluate the interaction between demand and supply factors that influence hospital pricing structure. We use consumers’ net willingness-to-pay (net WTP) as the dependent variable to analyze how providers exploit factors that enable a provider to charge high prices to consumers. We find that high prices are reflective of the perceived quality but find no relationship with the actual quality of care. In line with previous literature, our analysis shows no evidence of cross- subsidization between inpatient DRGs. However, we find no interaction of factors that could adequately explain the full extent of observed variation in provider prices. We conclude that the question, “Should I buy here or keep driving?” is complex and cannot be answered by a simple analysis of which healthcare provider is cheaper.