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hospital services, differentiation of services


This study assesses organizational and market factors related to high-tech service differentiation in local hospital markets. The sample includes 1704 nonfederal, general acute hospitals in urban counties in the United States. We relate organizational and market factors in 2011 to service differentiation in 2013, using ordinary least squares regression. Data are compiled from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals, Area Resource File, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Results show that hospitals differentiate more services relative to market rivals if they are larger than the rival and if the hospitals are further apart geographically. Hospitals differentiate more services if they are large, teaching, and nonprofit or public and if they face more market competition. Hospitals differentiate fewer services from rivals if they belong to multihospital systems. The findings underscore the pressures that urban hospitals face to offer high-tech services despite the potential of high-tech services to drive hospital costs upward.