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Demanding Customers: Consumerist Patients and Quality of Care

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  • Fang Hai

    ()
    (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Miller Nolan H.

    ()
    (University of Illinois)

  • Rizzo John

    ()
    (Stony Brook University)

  • Zeckhauser Richard

    ()
    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Consumerism arises when patients acquire and use medical information from sources other than their physicians. This practice has been hailed as a means of improving quality. This need not be the result. Our theoretical model identifies a channel through which consumerism may reduce quality: consumerist patients place additional demands on their doctors’ time, thus imposing a negative externality on other patients. Relative to a world in which consumerism does not exist, consumerism may harm other consumerists, non-consumerists, or both. Data from a large national survey of physicians confirm the negative effects of consumerism: high levels of consumerist patients are associated with lower perceived quality among physicians.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-51

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:59

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  1. John A. Rizzo, 2005. "Are HMOs bad for health maintenance?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1117-1131.
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