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July 21, 1989

Competition, Regulation, and Hospital Cost-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California, Berkeley
University of California, San Francisco

University of California, Berkeley
University of California, San Francisco

JAMA. 1989;262(3):353. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430030041029

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In Reply. —  Mr Mendelson's comparison of our figures with those from 1978 through 1982 is misleading, since we focus on rates of hospital cost inflation after adjusting for changes in wage rates, involvement in medical education, and other factors, while he focuses on unadjusted cost-inflation figures. We have no adjusted inflation figures for 1978 through 1982, but, as part of recent work, we have calculated adjusted rates of inflation for the entire decade from 1972 through 1982, which can be compared with adjusted inflation figures for 1982 through 1986. While Mr Mendelson's unadjusted figures show large differences between Massachusetts and the rest of the nation for 1978 through 1982, our figures show Massachusetts hospitals to have an adjusted rate of inflation from 1972 through 1982 only 1.8% lower than that of the rest of the nation (excluding Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and California), a statistically insignificant figure (P