Hospital Choices, Hospital Prices and Financial Incentives to Physicians
We estimate an insurer-specific preference function which rationalizes hospital referrals for privately-insured births in California. The function is additively separable in: a hospital price paid by the insurer, the distance traveled, and plan and severity-specific hospital fixed effects (capturing hospital quality). We use an inequality estimator that allows for errors in price and detailed hospital-severity interactions and obtain markedly different results than those from a logit. The estimates indicate that insurers with more capitated physicians are more responsive to price. Capitated plans send patients further to utilize similar-quality lower-priced hospitals; but the cost-quality trade-off does not vary with capitation rates.
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This paper was revised on March 31, 2014
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19333
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