|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
A path analytic test of a causal model linking a county population's demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, the way its hospital services are delivered, and the health care resources available to it with its rate of short-term general hospital utilization is performed using data from 56 New York State counties. The results generally support the model and point to the central importance of an area's hospital bed supply for an understanding of its hospitalization rates. The path analysis reveals the patterns of direct and indirect effects of population and health care environment variables on hospitalization rates and supports the contention that health care environment characteristics intervene between population and hospitalization. The practical implications of these results for those in the health care field are discussed.