Healtchare - Published Papers

Healthy Business? Managerial Education and Management in Health Care

Nicholas Bloom, Renata Lemos, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, 2020
Published in Review of Economics and Statistics

  • We investigate the link between hospital performance and managerial education by collecting a large database of management practices and skills in hospitals across nine countries. We find that hospitals closer to universities offering both medical education and business education have lower mortality rates from acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks), better management practices, and more MBA-trained managers. This is true compared to the distance to universities that offer only business or medical education (or neither). We argue that supplying bundled medical and business education may be a channel through which universities improve management practices in hospitals and raise clinical performance.

Hospital Board and Management Practices Are Strongly Related to Hospital Performance on Clinical Quality Metrics

Thomas C. Tsai, Ashish K. Jha, Atul A. Gawande, Robert S. Huckman, Nicholas Bloom, and Raffaella Sadun, 2015
Published in Health Affairs

  • National policies to improve health care quality have largely focused on clinical provider outcomes and, more recently, payment reform. Yet the association between hospital leadership and quality, although crucial to driving quality improvement, has not been explored in depth. We collected data from surveys of nationally representative groups of hospitals in the United States and England to examine the relationships among hospital boards, management practices of front-line managers, and the quality of care delivered. First, we found that hospitals with more effective management practices provided higher-quality care. Second, higher-rated hospital boards had superior performance by hospital management staff. Finally, we identified two signatures of high-performing hospital boards and management practice. Hospitals with
    boards that paid greater attention to clinical quality had management
    that better monitored quality performance. Similarly, we found that
    hospitals with boards that used clinical quality metrics more effectively had higher performance by hospital management staff on target setting and operations. These findings help increase understanding of the dynamics among boards, front-line management, and quality of care and could provide new targets for improving care delivery.

The Impact of Competition on Management Quality: Evidence from Public Hospitals

Nicholas Bloom, Carol Propper, Stephan Seiler, John Van Reenen, 2015
Published in The Review of Economic Studies

  • We analyse the causal impact of competition on managerial quality and hospital performance. To address the endogeneity of market structure we analyse the English public hospital sector where entry and exit are controlled by the central government. Because closing hospitals in areas where the governing party is expecting a tight election race (“marginals”) is rare due to the fear of electoral defeat, we can use political marginality as an instrumental variable for the number of hospitals in a geographical area. We find that higher competition results in higher management quality, measured using a new survey tool, and improved hospital performance. Adding a rival hospital increases management quality by 0.4 standard deviations and increases survival rates from emergency heart attacks by 9.7%. We confirm the robustness of our IV strategy to “hidden policies” that could be used in marginal districts to improve hospital management and to changes in capacity that may follow from hospital closure.