Journal article

The Cost of System Congestion: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector

Ramji Balakrishnan, Naomi S Soderstrom

Journal of Management Accounting Research | American Accounting Association | Published : 2000


We investigate the cost of system congestion using data from 225,473 maternity admissions at 30 hospitals in the state of Washington. We identify congested days using the distribution of patient admissions for each hospital-year combination and use the rate of Caesarian sections (C-sections) as the proxy for the cost of congestion. We use two separate logistic regressions to investigate the relation between congestion and the decision to operate. The first regression includes data from the full sample of patients. Contrary to expectations, we find that congestion does not increase C-section rates. We estimate the second regression using data only from those patients classified as being at ri..

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