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Treatment and referral decisions under different physician payment mechanisms

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  • Allard, Marie
  • Jelovac, Izabela
  • Léger, Pierre Thomas

Abstract

This paper analyzes and compares the incentive properties of some common payment mechanisms for GPs, namely fee for service (FFS), capitation and fundholding. It focuses on gatekeeping GPs and it specifically recognizes GPs heterogeneity in both ability and altruism. It also allows inappropriate care by GPs to lead to more serious illnesses. The results are as follows. Capitation is the payment mechanism that induces the most referrals to expensive specialty care. Fundholding may induce almost as much referrals as capitation when the expected costs of GPs care are high relative to those of specialty care. Although driven by financial incentives of different nature, the strategic behaviors associated with fundholding and FFS are very much alike. Finally, whether a regulator should use one or another payment mechanism for GPs will depend on (i) his priorities (either cost-containment or quality enhancement) which, in turn, depend on the expected cost difference between GPs care and specialty care, and (ii) the distribution of profiles (diagnostic ability and altruism levels) among GPs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 880-893

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:880-893

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

Related research

Keywords: Ability; Altruism; Capitation; Fee for service; Fundholding;

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References

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  1. Åke Blomqvist & Pierre Thomas Léger, 2001. "Information Asymmetry, Insurance, and the Decision to Hospitalize," Cahiers de recherche 01-03, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  2. Marie Allard & Pierre Thomas Léger & Lise Rochaix, 2004. "Provider Competition in a Dynamic Setting," Cahiers de recherche 04-07, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  3. Ma, Ching-to Albert & McGuire, Thomas G, 1997. "Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 685-704, September.
  4. Chalkley, M. & Malcomson, J.M., 1995. "Contracting for health services when patient demand does not reflect quality," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9514, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. Brekke, Kurt R. & Nuscheler, Robert & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Gatekeeping in health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 149-170, January.
  6. Josse Delfgaauw, 2007. "Dedicated Doctors: Public and Private Provision of Health Care with Altruistic Physicians," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-010/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 17 Sep 2007.
  7. Gary Biglaiser & Ching-to Albert Ma, 2006. "Moonlighting: Public Service and Private Practice," Working Papers 12, Portuguese Competition Authority.
  8. Blomqvist, Ake, 1991. "The doctor as double agent: Information asymmetry, health insurance, and medical care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 411-432.
  9. Paula González, 2010. "Gatekeeping versus direct-access when patient information matters," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 730-754.
  10. Marie Allard & Izabela Jelovac & Pierre-Thomas Léger, 2010. "Physicians self selection of a payment mechanism: Capitation versus fee-for-service," Post-Print halshs-00523370, HAL.
  11. Jack, William, 2005. "Purchasing health care services from providers with unknown altruism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 73-93, January.
  12. Matsaganis, Manos & Glennerster, Howard, 1994. "The threat of 'cream skimming' in the post-reform NHS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 31-60, March.
  13. Rosella LEVAGGI & Lise ROCHAIX, 2007. "Exit, Choice Or Loyalty: Patient Driven Competition In Primary Care," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(4), pages 501-535, December.
  14. Marinoso, Begona Garcia & Jelovac, Izabela, 2003. "GPs' payment contracts and their referral practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 617-635, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ching-to Albert MA & Tor Iversen, 2010. "Market conditions and general practitioners’ referrals," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-023, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Godager, Geir & Wiesen, Daniel, 2013. "Profit or patients’ health benefit? Exploring the heterogeneity in physician altruism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1105-1116.
  3. Shinya Sugawara & Jiro Nakamura, 2014. "Incentive for Gatekeepers and Their Demand Inducement: An Empirical Analysis of Care Managers in the Japanese Long-Term Care Insurance," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-916, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  4. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 456, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Marie Allard & Izabela Jelovac & Pierre-Thomas Léger, 2010. "Physicians self selection of a payment mechanism: Capitation versus fee-for-service," Post-Print halshs-00523370, HAL.
  6. Franz Hackl & Michael Hummer & Gerald Pruckner, 2013. "Old Boys’ Network in General Practitioner’s Referral Behavior," Economics working papers 2013-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Godager, Geir & Iversen, Tor & Albert Ma, Ching-to, 2012. "Competition, Gatekeeping, and Health Care Access," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2012:2, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

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