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The fraying hospital safety net

The New York Times, September 7, 2012

Safety-net hospitals have long been considered the ugly stepchild of the American healthcare system. The assumption for many patients and doctors has been that the quality of patient care, like the ambience, suffered as a result. And while several early studies comparing patients' outcomes confirmed those suspicions, a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs validates what those who have actually worked in safety-net hospitals have long believed: Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t assess the quality of a hospital’s care by its decor.