Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Dr. Yongmin Chen

Second Advisor

Dr. Terra McKinnish

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Weber


The purpose of this study is to investigate to what extent prices charged by hospitals for common surgical procedures reflect hospital quality and consumer choice. Increases in hospital quality should be associated with higher compensation, whereas increased consumer choice should result in consumers paying lower prices. Prices of common surgical procedures are regressed on level of consumer choice and a Hospital Quality Incentive Payment Score (HQIP). The Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression does not yield statistical significance for both HQIP and level of consumer choice, but rather attributes much of the variation in price to county income per capita and hospital unreimbursed costs for Medicaid.