Health Policy Research Update
Urban hospital closures can lead to lower-cost, more effective health care by encouraging some patients to seek care at doctor's offices, but such closures also make some groups feel as though health care is less accessible, a study in the Journal of Health Economics found.
Researchers studied the effects of hospital closures in Los Angeles County and found that more deaths from heart attacks and unintentional injuries occur the farther away a hospital is located.
The authors suggest promoting low-cost, nonhospital-based preventive care as a method of reducing negative outcomes after a hospital closure.
This week's Health Policy Research Update also includes a series of studies by the Institute of Medicine addressing the future of emergency health care.