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Organizational Fragmentation and Care Quality in the U.S. Healthcare System

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  • Randall D. Cebul
  • James B. Rebitzer
  • Lowell J. Taylor
  • Mark E. Votruba

Abstract

Many goods and services can be readily provided through a series of unconnected transactions, but in health care, close coordination over time and within care episodes improves both health outcomes and efficiency. Close coordination is problematic in the U.S. healthcare system because the financing and delivery of care is distributed across a variety of distinct and often competing entities, each with its own objectives, obligations, and capabilities. These fragmented organizational structures lead to disrupted relationships, poor information flows, and misaligned incentives that combine to degrade care quality and increase costs. We illustrate our argument with examples taken from the insurance and hospital industries, and discuss possible responses to the problems resulting from organizational fragmentation.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.22.4.93
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 93-113

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:22:y:2008:i:4:p:93-113

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.22.4.93
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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Samuel H. Preston & Jessica Y. Ho, 2009. "Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?," NBER Working Papers 15213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2011. "Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care," NBER Working Papers 16953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James B. Rebitzer & Mark E. Votruba, 2011. "Organizational Economics and Physician Practices," NBER Working Papers 17535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Randall D. Cebul & James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor & Mark Votruba, 2008. "Organizational Fragmentation and Care Quality in the U.S. Health Care System," NBER Working Papers 14212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan M. Garber & Jonathan Skinner, 2008. "Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
  6. Marton, James & Yelowitz, Aaron & Talbert, Jeffrey, 2014. "A Tale of Two Cities? The Heterogeneous Impact of Medicaid Managed Care," MPRA Paper 54105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. repec:exc:wpaper:2013-09 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Randall D. Cebul & James B. Rebitzer & Lowell J. Taylor & Mark E. Votruba, 2008. "Unhealthy Insurance Markets: Search Frictions and the Cost and Quality of Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark McClellan, 2011. "Reforming Payments to Healthcare Providers: The Key to Slowing Healthcare Cost Growth While Improving Quality?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 69-92, Spring.
  10. Martin Gaynor & Robert J. Town, 2011. "Competition in Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 17208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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