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Do religious nonprofit and for-profit organizations respond differently to financial incentives? The hospice industry.

Department of Health Administration and Policy, Center for Health Economic and Policy Studies, Medical University of South Carolina, 151 Rutledge Avenue, Building B, PO Box 250961, Charleston, SC 29525, USA.
Journal of Health Economics (Impact Factor: 2.25). 04/2007; 26(2):342-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2006.09.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We study how for-profit and religious nonprofit hospices respond to an exogenous Medicare reimbursement incentive that encourages maximization of patient length of stay. Hospices have the incentive to selectively admit patients with longer expected lengths of stay, and admit patients sooner after a hospital discharge. We find that for-profit hospices are significantly less likely to admit patients with shorter, less profitable, expected lengths of stay. We do not find any difference in the timing of admission by ownership. Incentives for efficiency could be strengthened by a Medicare pricing system that replaced the current flat per diem payment with one that reflected the high costs at the beginning and end of hospice stay and the lower costs in between.

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Jun 2, 2014