A news agency releases a report containing information about two local hospitals, Hospital A and Hospital B. The information that is released includes the following rates: surgical procedures, admittance via the ER, cesarean sections vs. natural births, and cost of an overnight stay.
The report concludes that patients who are admitted to Hospital B are more likely to experience higher rates of invasive surgery and cesarean sections, and pay more for their stay.
The report notes that Hospital A is privately owned, whereas Hospital B is publically funded. Based on this information, the news agency concludes that Hospital B performs more unnecessary procedures and overcharges its patients.
The final report recommends that people choose Hospital A in order to save money and lower the risk of unnecessary surgery. After the report, Hospital B counters the claims as being a result of poor data collecting procedures and analysis.
Which of the following can provide an alternative explanation for the news agency's findings?