Do Teaching Hospitals Offer Better Value?

Many teaching hospitals are known for their cutting edge technology and various specialty services for treating highly sophisticated conditions. They are often the first choice when a loved one is facing a serious health crisis. But in today's world, where value-based care and healthcare reform are at the forefront, do teaching hospitals really offer the best value when it comes to common medical needs?

A national review of these programs has found that when it comes to routine medical care, there is no evidence that teaching hospitals provide higher value, according to the Hospital Value Index.

CEO of Data Advantage, the company behind the Hospital Value Index, Hal Andrews, states, “Our findings show that, as a group, teaching hospitals are not distinguished by providing higher value for everyday medical care as compared to non-teaching hospitals. While several teaching hospitals are notable for delivering high value, very few of them are the “name” brands. When it comes to most of the services that consumers receive, teaching hospitals are rarely a better value, and sometimes significantly worse.”

According to the study, St. Joseph’s Hospital of Yonkers, NY is one example of a teaching hospital that consistently delivers high value, achieve a rank in the top 10% two years in a row. Another example is St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, MA, that routinely offers better healthcare value than its peers in Boston.

This latest study from the Hospital Value Index used the most current and comprehensive data available, including Hospital Compare data released in July 2009. The index researchers gathered information by surveying more than 4,500 U.S. hospitals to discover where patients can find the best value of care in their community. Public data was also analyzed concerning hospital quality, price, efficiency, and patient satisfaction.

One of the authors of the study, David Potash M.D., concludes, “Healthcare stakeholders are increasingly focused on Value-Based Purchasing of routine healthcare, as means of achieving accountable quality, affordability, and efficiency. When it comes to delivering high value, routine care, teaching hospitals demonstrate considerable variability and inconsistency, yet no single metric explains the variances.”


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