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Health Serv Res. 1987 April; 22(1): 69–89.
PMCID: PMC1065423

Appropriate measures of hospital market areas.


As public and private policymakers turn to market-oriented strategies to control hospital prices, it is necessary to understand the conceptual underpinnings of hospital market area measurement. This article provides a framework for evaluating which definitions of hospital market areas are suitable for various types of analyses. Hospital market areas can be defined from two perspectives: an individual hospital perspective and that of the overall market. From each perspective, empirical definitions can be based on geopolitical boundaries, distance between hospitals, and patient-origin data. In this article, market areas are compared based on various descriptions using data on California hospitals and patient discharge abstracts.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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  • Gaffney JC, Glandon GL. The physician's use of the hospital. Health Care Manage Rev. 1982 Summer;7(3):49–58. [PubMed]
  • Drosness DL, Lubin JW. Planning can be based on patient travel. Mod Hosp. 1966 Apr;106(4):92–94. [PubMed]
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  • Luft HS, Robinson JC, Garnick DW, Maerki SC, McPhee SJ. The role of specialized clinical services in competition among hospitals. Inquiry. 1986 Spring;23(1):83–94. [PubMed]

Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust