To examine whether market competition is associated with improved health outcomes in hemodialysis.
Secondary analysis of data from a national dialysis registry between 2001 and 2011.
We conducted one‐ and two‐part linear regression models, using each hospital service area () as its own control, to examine the independent associations among market concentration and health outcomes.
We selected cohorts of patients receiving in‐center hemodialysis in the United States at the start of each calendar year. We used information about dialysis facility ownership and the location where patients received dialysis to measure an index of market concentration—the Hirschman‐Herfindahl Index ()—for and year, which ranges from near zero (perfect competition) to one (monopoly).
An average reduction in by 0.2 (one standard deviation in 2011) was associated with 2.9 fewer hospitalizations per 100 patient‐years (95 percent , 0.4 to 5.4). If these findings were generalized to the entire in‐center hemodialysis population, this would translate to 8,100 (95 percent 1,200 to 15,000) fewer hospitalizations in 2011. There was no association between change in market competition and mortality.
Market competition in dialysis may lead to improved health outcomes.