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Research Letter
July 2018

US Public Perceptions About Cancer Care Provided by Smaller Hospitals Associated With Large Hospitals Recognized for Specializing in Cancer Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Section of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 4Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(7):1008-1009. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.1400

Over the past 5 years, smaller hospitals have developed formal relationships with larger hospitals at a historic rate, with more than 100 new mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations being filed each year in the United States.1,2 Applying the brand of a larger hospital to smaller, affiliated hospitals has become commonplace.3 This brand sharing has the potential to influence patient decisions about where to pursue care, particularly for complex conditions such as cancer.4 However, the extent to which patients perceive the care at the smaller hospitals to be affected by affiliation is unclear. In an effort to understand patient expectations associated with brand sharing for complex cancer care at smaller hospitals, we surveyed a nationally representative sample in the United States.