Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Private and Semi-Private Hospital Rooms
The design of new hospital inpatient rooms is moving towards private (single occupancy) rooms. These rooms are generally preferred by patients and they may improve patient care, but they are more expensive to build and to staff than semi-private rooms. The question of their societal worth is important because hospitals are expensive, long-term investments and, once built, are prohibitively expensive to change. This paper presents a benefit-cost analysis of private rooms versus semi-private rooms in a proposed new hospital. We estimate that the net social benefit of a bed in a private room is about $70,000 more than a bed in a semi-private room.
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