To examine perceived inpatient care quality according to regional socioeconomic status (SES), measured by regional household income, across the United States and Taiwan.
Patient Experience in Hospital Care (PEHC) survey 2018–2019 data from National Taiwan University; US Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) 2018–2019 data from ; and household income and facility data from publicly accessible databases.
This retrospective study used multivariate logistic regression to estimate the effect of household income on the rate of positive inpatient experiences in Taiwan and the United States, adjusting for hospitals' teaching status and ownership, and physician density.
Hospital administrators for HCAHPS and PEHC's research teams invited patients who received inpatient care during the data collection period in the United States and Taiwan, respectively. The analysis included 1024 facilities from nine US states and 350 facilities from twenty major cities/counties in Taiwan.
Perceived inpatient care quality was higher in the United States than in Taiwan for the three experience measures. In Taiwan, hospitals with higher regional SES were less likely to receive a highly positive response for perceived respect, accommodation quality, and understanding upon discharge, with odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 0.83 to 0.88. In contrast, in the United States, higher regional SES was associated with a higher likelihood of a positive response for accommodation quality and understanding upon discharge (ORs = 2.51 and 1.48). Regional physician density and individual hospital characteristics show varying effects on perceived quality between Taiwan and the United States.
Higher overall experience scores in the United States are consistent with higher spending on health care compared with Taiwan. Varying associations between regional SES and perceived inpatient care quality highlight how systemic and cultural differences between the two countries affect scoring patterns.