DP15105 "Does Higher Hospital Quality Save Lives? The Association between" "COVID-19 Deaths and Hospital Quality in the USA

Author(s): Johannes Kunz, Carol Propper
Publication Date: July 2020
Keyword(s): COVID-19, County-level Deaths, Hospital Quality, Health Care Systems, Minorities
JEL(s): H51, I11, I18
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15105

This paper examines the association between the quality of hospitals to which residents of a US county are exposed and deaths from COVID-19. We derive a measure of the hospitals accessible to county residents based on ambulance travel patterns. We estimate hospital quality from measures of performance used in a flagship national pay-for-performance program. We find that a standard deviation in local quality- exposure is associated with a roughly 9% lower death rate. The preventive effects of access to high quality hospitals vary sharply by minority composition of the local population.