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Studies of competition in the health care industry are important in face of the rapidly changing health care environment. However, there are barriers related to data in conducting such studies.
To develop and prioritize a research agenda on competition in health care markets, and to discuss what data are currently available that can be used to answer important research questions, a conference, "Data Needs for Studies of Competition in Market Areas," was held June 21-22, 1999. It was co-sponsored by AHCPR's Center for Organization and Delivery Studies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Individuals from organizations who use, analyze, collect and maintain the data needed for conducting studies of competition in the health care arena came together at the conference to address the following topics:
- Understanding the importance of competition studies in a rapidly changing health care environment.
- Assessing current data needs.
- Disseminating and sharing current data.
- Prioritizing research questions and determining whether data are available to address these questions.
The first day of the conference, June 21, included the following sessions:
- Competition in Perspective, with a presentation by James Robinson.
- What Have We Studied and How Have We Measured It?, with a presentation by Michael A. Morrisey.
- What Types of Competition, and What Effects of Competition are Most Important to Study?, with discussion in small groups.
- What Data Are Available to Study the Effects of Competition in Market Areas?, with presentations by Laurence Baker and Tami L. Mark.
- What Data Are Available to Answer the Questions, How Can Available Data be Improved, and How Could We Obtain Other Necessary Data?, with discussion in small groups.
The conference concluded on June 22 with the following sessions:
- Report/Recommendations of Small Groups on Data Issues.
- Models of How Data Can Be Disseminated or Shared to Produce Studies of Competition in Markets, with a presentation by Denise Love.
- Stakeholder Opportunities, with facilitator Allan Baumgarten and panelists Barbara Norman, Michael Hagan, and Walter (Pete) Bailey.
- Where Do We Go From Here: How Can We Collect, Disseminate and Share Data on Competition to Further the Field?, with facilitator Michael Morrisey.
Four commissioned papers were presented at the conference:
- "Recent Developments in Health Care Competition" by Michael A. Morrisey.
- "Measuring Competition in Health Care Markets" by Laurence Baker.
- "Researching the Effects of Health Care Competition: Are Available Data Resources Up to the Task: by Tami L. Mark and Rosanna Coffey.
- "Data Sharing and Dissemination Strategies for Measuring and Fostering Competition in Health Care" by Denise Love.
A set of papers from the conference is expected to be published next year. For further information on competition in health care markets, contact Michael Hagan at AHCPR's Center for Organization and Delivery Studies.