Understanding the safety net: Inpatient quality of care varies based on how one defines Safety-net hospitals

Megan McHugh*, Raymond Kang, Romana Hasnain-Wynia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

A challenge to investigating quality of care at safety-net hospitals is the absence of a standard method for identifying these hospitals. The authors identified three different, commonly used approaches for classifying hospitals as safety-net providers. Analyzing national data on hospital demographics and quality of care, they found little overlap among these three sets of hospitals. Under two definitions, safety-net providers clearly underperformed on quality compared with non-safety-net providers; under a third definition, results were mixed. How one defines safety-net providers can affect health services research outcomes and policy recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-605
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Volume66
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

Keywords

  • Quality
  • Safety net

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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