NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cost Implications of Hospital Unionization: A Behavioral Analysis

David S. Salkever

NBER Working Paper No. 946 (Also Reprint No. r0571)
Issued in July 1982
NBER Program(s):   HE

The growth of unionization among hospital workers was sharply accelerated by the 1974 amendments to the NLRA covering voluntary hospital workers. With continuing inflationary pressures in the hospital sector, the cost implications of the recent and projected growth of hospital unions is of some concern to policy-makers . This paper presents estimates of union cost impacts based on data from hospitals in the states of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Cross-sectional regressions with data for 1975 yield positive union impacts of 3.3 percent on total costs, 4.1 to 5.9 percent on cost per case, and 6.1 percent on cost per day. Re-estimation of the model with data on changes over the 1971 -75 period yields similar results. We also find that the cost impact of unionization varies with the pattern of coverage (being lower for service employees and RN's) and with the extent of cost-based reimbursement. This suggests that future cost impacts of union growth may be moderated as prospective payment systems for hospital s become more widespread.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0946

Published: Salkever, David S. "Cost Implications of Hospital Unionization: A Behavioral Analysis." Health Services Research, Vol. 19, No. 5, (December 1984),pp. 639-664.

 
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