Provider category and quality of care in the Norwegian nursing home industry
This paper examines empirically if there is a link between quality of care in the Norwegian nursing home industry and exposure of the industry to competition. Exposing public care to competition implies that the responsibility for providing care services is shared between public authorities and private actors. In Norway, exposure to competition means tender competition. Suppliers bid for a contract issued by the Norwegian authorities for a limited number of years. Quality of care in an institution is the major competitive factor. The provider categories of elderly care are: 1) care provided by institutions run by municipalities, 2) care provided by institutions run by private companies, which have won a tender competition, 3) care provided by institutions run by private companies owned by private families, voluntary religious or idealistic organizations. Nurse-to-patient ratio is used as a proxy for quality of care. The regression analysis indicates a relationship between quality of care and exposure to competition. The quality of care in provider category 2 is significantly lower than in provider category 1, but there are more variations in the quality of care in provider category 1 than in provider category 2. We find the lowest quality of care in provider category 1. There is also a relationship between the quality of care in an institution and the educational level of the staff, the location, the workforce, and the size of an institution. Finally, there is a relationship between the quality of care in an institution and the real and the required capacity, and the financial status in a region.
Published: Online February 2016. In print August 2016.
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