NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Physician Practice Style and Patient Health Outcomes: The Case of Heart Attacks

Janet Currie, W. Bentley MacLeod, Jessica Van Parys

NBER Working Paper No. 21218
Issued in May 2015, Revised in February 2016
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics, Labor Studies

When a patient arrives at the Emergency Room with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the provider on duty must quickly decide how aggressively the patient should be treated. Using Florida data on all such patients from 1992-2014, we decompose practice style into two components: The provider’s probability of conducting invasive procedures on the average patient (which we characterize as aggressiveness), and the responsiveness of the choice of procedure to the patient’s characteristics. We show that within hospitals and years, patients with more aggressive providers have consistently higher costs and better outcomes. Since all patients benefit from higher utilization of invasive procedures, targeting procedure use to the most appropriate patients benefits these patients at the expense of the less appropriate patients. We also find that the most aggressive and responsive physicians are young, male, and trained in top 20 schools.

download in pdf format
   (176 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21218

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Geruso and Layton w21222 Upcoding: Evidence from Medicare on Squishy Risk Adjustment
Currie and MacLeod w18977 Diagnosing Expertise: Human Capital, Decision Making and Performance Among Physicians
Heller, Shah, Guryan, Ludwig, Mullainathan, and Pollack w21178 Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago
Doyle, Graves, and Gruber w21050 Uncovering Waste in U.S. Healthcare
Garthwaite, Gross, and Notowidigdo w21290 Hospitals as Insurers of Last Resort
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us