July 16, 2019

Hospital network participation not linked with improved outcomes, lower costs

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

Hospital network participation was not associated with improvements in surgical outcomes or Medicare expenditures, compared with hospitals not in a network, this study finds.

In this analysis of nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries having general, vascular, cardiac, or orthopedic surgery between 2007 and 2014 at network (1,868) or non-network (2734) hospitals, there was no association between network participation and surgical outcomes.

The rates of serious complications were similar between network (11.4%) and non-network (11.1%) hospitals.

There was no association between time-in-network and improvement rates of serious complications. After 7 years of network participation, the rate of serious complications in 2014 was 9.6% in network hospitals vs 9.2% in non-network hospitals.

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