During the 1980s California hospitals responded to selective contracting, growth in managed care, and the Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) by controlling their level of spending. This DataWatch examines whether these hospitals achieved these savings by changing the number and/or the mix of hospital employees. We examined employment trends because wages represent the largest component of hospital budgets and because the number and mix of personnel can be changed in the short run. Analysis of the California Health Facilities Cost Report data shows that employment increased steadily during 1982-1994. There is no evidence that hospitals responded to growing competition by altering the rate of growth in hospital personnel and only weak evidence that they altered the mix of personnel by hiring a greater proportion of nonclinical staff. We conclude that increased competition had only a minor effect on hospital employment decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas