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Information asymmetry, insurance, and the decision to hospitalize

  • Blomqvist, Ake
  • Leger, Pierre Thomas

In a theoretical model, we analyze the effects of various kinds of demand- and supply-side incentives in the context of a model in which patients and doctors must decide not only on an aggregate quantity of health services to use in treating various kinds of illness, but also have a choice between different kinds of providers (in particular, outpatient services rendered by primary-care physicians or inpatient services provided by hospital-based specialists). We present two broad models, the traditional fee-for-service payment scheme and a managed care setup where physicians are paid via capitation, and analyze them both with and without information asymmetry. We find that under certain plausible conditions, second-best optimal managed care plans may dominate second-best optimal conventional plans that rely on cost control through demand-side cost sharing. À l'aide d'un modèle théorique dans lequel patients et médecins doivent choisir la quantité de service à utiliser ainsi que celui, de l'omnipraticien ou du spécialiste uvrant à l'hôpital, qui fournira ces services, nous analysons différents mécanismes d'incitation agissant sur l'offre et la demande. Nous étudions essentiellement deux modes d'organisation : le système conventionnel de rémunération à l'acte et le système de gestion intégrée des soins avec une rémunération per capita; à la fois en présence et en l'absence d'asymétrie d'information. Nous obtenons comme résultat qu'à certaines conditions plausibles, l'optimum de second-rang auquel mène le système de gestion intégrée est supérieur à celui que donne le système conventionnel de rémunération à l'acte qui répercute une partie des coûts sur l'utilisateur.

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

Volume (Year): 24 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 775-793

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:24:y:2005:i:4:p:775-793
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Asher Wolinsky, 1991. "Competition in a Market for Informed Experts' Services," Discussion Papers 959, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. 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.
  3. Ching-to Albert Ma & Thomas G. McGuire, 1995. "Optimal Health Insurance and Provider Payment," Papers 0059, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Ellis, Randall P. & McGuire, Thomas G., 1986. "Provider behavior under prospective reimbursement : Cost sharing and supply," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 129-151, June.
  5. Pierre Thomas Léger, 2000. "Quality control mechanisms under capitation payment for medical services," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 564-586, May.
  6. Glied, Sherry, 2000. "Managed care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 707-753 Elsevier.
  7. 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.
  8. Rochaix, Lise, 1989. "Information asymmetry and search in the market for physicians' services," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 53-84, March.
  9. Gravelle, Hugh & Dusheiko, Mark & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "The demand for elective surgery in a public system: time and money prices in the UK National Health Service," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-449, May.
  10. Dranove, David, 1988. "Demand Inducement and the Physician/Patient Relationship," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 281-98, April.
  11. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
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