Hospital Utilization: An Analysis of SMSA Differences in Hospital Admission Rates, Occupancy Rates and Bed Rates
NBER Working Paper No. 2
A topic of continued public concern is the national level and distribution among areas and individuals of the availability of hospital services. This paper presents data for the country as a whole on hospital utilization during the post World War II period for short-term non-federal hospitals. The bed rate (the number of beds per thousand population) increased nearly 25 percent. The admission rate (admissions per thousand population)increased nearly 50 percent. The average bed occupancy rate increased during most of the period but has recently been on the decline. These changes are important because hospitals do perform useful services, but at a considerable cost - a cost which has been growing rapidly. The purpose of this study is to present a model for analyzing the utilization of short-term general hospitals. The objective is to develop structural equations and hypotheses as to why the measures of hospital utilization vary across communities, and to estimate these equations and test these hypotheses.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0002