Consumer Use of Information in Selection of Hospitals for Open Heart Surgery


Name: Deborah Kamin

Rank: CDR, USN

Organization: George Washington University

Performance Site: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Year Published: 1992

Abstract Status: Initial


ORIGINAL PROPOSAL ABSTRACT:The historical lack of consumer information in medical markets threatens the success of market-based reforms which depend on informed consumers to "shop" for hospitals based on some knowledge of their cost and quality. Although there have been a number of private and public sector attempts to improve consumer information, the effect of these programs on consumer behavior is not clear. The research proposed here will use a mail survey of open heart surgery patients to identify factors which influenced their choice of hospitals, sources of information they used in hospital selection, and the extent to which they participated in choosing a specific institution. Demographic differences in types of information used, extent of participation, and type of hospital selected will also be examined. Results from the proposed study are intended to contribute to policy analysis relating to (1) the effectiveness of competition as a cost control mechanism, (2) appropriateness and effectiveness of information dissemination programs now in place, and (3) the role of physicians in guiding patient selection of quality hospital care.