Magnet Hospitals: Impact on Diagnostic Imaging Utilization and Costs of Care

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Lobby (Annenberg Center)

Author(s): Prof. Jayani Jayawardhana

Discussant: Danny R. Hughes

Background: Magnet hospitals (MHs) are known for their high quality of patient care, excellence in nursing practices, higher retention rates for well qualified nurses, improved outcomes of care, and greater propensity to use evidence-based care. As part of obtaining Magnet Hospital designation, Magnet hospitals make large investments in resources including high-cost resources such as diagnostic imaging services. Given access to greater resources and capabilities, Magnet hospitals may be more likely to utilize high-cost services such as diagnostic imaging services in comparison to non-Magnet hospitals.

Objective: To investigate the impact of Magnet status on utilization of diagnostic imaging services by hospitals and evaluate the impact of such utilization on healthcare costs.

Methods: The study uses a data set created by merging hospital level data from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey, Hospital Cost Reporting Information System reports

collected by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, individual level inpatient data from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, and Magnet recognition status data from American Nurses Credentialing Center.  Descriptive statistics and appropriate panel data regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the impact of Magnet status on utilization of diagnostic imaging services and costs of care. This study focused on CT, MRI, and ultrasound procedures in hospitals in urban locations between 2000-2010 from the following ten states AZ, CA, CO, FL, IA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, and WA.

Results: Preliminary results indicate negative and significant effect of Magnet status on the utilization of Ultrasound procedures and CT scans in comparison to non-Magnet hospitals. However, Magnet status does not have a significant effect on utilization of MRI procedures, although the effect seems to be negative. Preliminary results do not indicate significant effect of Magnet status on costs of care of MRI, CT or Ultrasound procedures.

Conclusion: The preliminary results seem to indicate that Magnet hospitals are more likely to utilize specific types of diagnostic imaging services such as Ultrasounds and CT scans in comparison to non-Magnet hospitals, although the effect of this utilization on costs of care is not yet clear. However, more analyses will be conducted, and final results will be presented at the conference. The findings from this study will contribute to the growing body of knowledge on Magnet hospital behavior and its impact on healthcare markets and costs of care, especially related to delivery of healthcare services.