The impacts of private hospital entry on the public market for elective care in England

The ESRI organises a public seminar series, inviting researchers from both the ESRI and other institutions to present new research on a variety of public policy issues. The seminar series provides access to specialised knowledge and new research methodologies, with the objective of promoting research excellence and facilitating productive dialogue across the policy and research fields.

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Guest speakerGeorge Stoye, Institute for Fiscal Studies, London

Seminar topicThis seminar will present a paper that examines the impacts of private hospital entry on publicly funded elective care in England. From 2006, private hospitals were encouraged to enter certain publicly funded markets to compete with existing public hospitals and stimulate quality improvements. Studying elective hip replacements, we compare changes in outcomes across areas that were differentially exposed to private hospital entry. We find private hospital entry led to a 12% increase in the overall number of annual publicly funded admissions, and an 11% reduction in waiting times, but had no effect on the number of admissions at public hospitals or emergency readmissions. Additional publicly funded admissions were not associated with reduced privately funded volumes, and patients became observably healthier on average. These findingsindicatethe reform successfully increased publicly funded capacity but did little to improve quality at existing public hospitals.

Speaker bioMr Stoye is a Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in London, where his research mainly examines variation in the quantity and quality of health and social care provided to patients across different providers, patient characteristics and institutions.