Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 411–422

Efficiency of Federal Hospitals in the United States

  • Jeffrey P. Harrison
  • M. Nicholas Coppola
  • Mark Wakefield

DOI: 10.1023/B:JOMS.0000041168.28200.8c

Cite this article as:
Harrison, J.P., Coppola, M.N. & Wakefield, M. Journal of Medical Systems (2004) 28: 411. doi:10.1023/B:JOMS.0000041168.28200.8c


This study evaluates the technical efficiency of federal hospitals in the United States using a variable returns to scale, input-oriented, data envelopment analysis (DEA) methodology. Hospital executives, health care policy-makers, taxpayers, and other stakeholders, benefit from studies that improve the efficiency of federal hospitals. Data for 280 federal hospitals in 1998 and 245 in 2001 were analyzed using DEA to measure hospital efficiency. Results indicate overall efficiency in federal hospitals improved from 68% in 1998 to 79% in 2001. However, based upon 2001 spending of $42.5 billion for federal hospitals potential savings of $2.0 billion annually are possible through more efficient management of resources. From a policy perspective, this study highlights the importance of establishing more specific policies to address inefficiency in the federal health care industry.

hospital efficiencyfederal hospital efficiencydata envelopment analysisDEA

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey P. Harrison
    • 1
  • M. Nicholas Coppola
    • 2
  • Mark Wakefield
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Administration ProgramUniversity of North Florida, College of HealthJacksonvilleFlorida
  2. 2.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVirginia
  3. 3.University of North FloridaJacksonvilleFlorida