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Using global ratings of health plans to improve the quality of health care

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  • Glazer, Jacob
  • McGuire, Thomas G.
  • Cao, Zhun
  • Zaslavsky, Alan

Abstract

Global ratings, such as those based on consumer satisfaction, are a commonly used form of report on the performance of health plans and providers. A simple averaging of the global rating by plan members leads to a problem: it gives a plan greater incentives to improve services used by low-cost members than services used by high-cost members. This paper presents a formal model of consumer formation of global ratings and the incentives these rating convey to plans. We use this model to characterize weights on consumer respondents to correct the incentive problem. We implement our proposed solution using data from the Consumer Assessments of Health Care Providers and Systems (CAHPS) and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). Our correction is low-cost, easily implemented on an on-going basis, and insensitive to assumptions about why health plans care about quality ratings.

Suggested Citation

  • Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G. & Cao, Zhun & Zaslavsky, Alan, 2008. "Using global ratings of health plans to improve the quality of health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1182-1195, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:1182-1195
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jin, Ginger Zhe & Sorensen, Alan T., 2006. "Information and consumer choice: The value of publicized health plan ratings," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 248-275, March.
    2. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2006. "Optimal quality reporting in markets for health plans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 295-310, March.
    3. Wedig, Gerard J. & Tai-Seale, Ming, 2002. "The effect of report cards on consumer choice in the health insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1031-1048, November.
    4. Ellis, Randall P. & McGuire, Thomas G., 2007. "Predictability and predictiveness in health care spending," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-48, January.
    5. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2002. "Setting health plan premiums to ensure efficient quality in health care: minimum variance optimal risk adjustment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 153-173, May.
    6. Pauly, Mark V. & Ramsey, Scott D., 1999. "Would you like suspenders to go with that belt? An analysis of optimal combinations of cost sharing and managed care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 443-458, August.
    7. Abraham, Jean M. & Feldman, Roger & Carlin, Caroline & Christianson, Jon, 2006. "The effect of quality information on consumer health plan switching: Evidence from the Buyers Health Care Action Group," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 762-781, July.
    8. Michelle M. Mello & Sally C. Stearns & Edward C. Norton, 2002. "Do Medicare HMOs still reduce health services use after controlling for selection bias?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 323-340.
    9. Van de ven, Wynand P.M.M. & Ellis, Randall P., 2000. "Risk adjustment in competitive health plan markets," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 755-845 Elsevier.
    10. Cao, Zhun & McGuire, Thomas G., 2003. "Service-level selection by HMOs in Medicare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 915-931, November.
    11. Frank, Richard G. & Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Measuring adverse selection in managed health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 829-854, November.
    12. Keeler, Emmett B. & Carter, Grace & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1998. "A model of the impact of reimbursement schemes on health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 297-320, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Glazer & Thomas G. McGuire, 2012. "Optimal Risk Adjustment," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 27 Edward Elgar Publishing.
      • Jacob Glazer & Thomas G. McGuire, 2006. "Optimal Risk Adjustment," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 26 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Laurent Bouton, 2011. "Good rankings are bad - Why reliable rankings can hurt consumers," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Vincze, János, 2010. "Miért és mitől védjük a fogyasztókat?. Aszimmetrikus információ és/vagy korlátozott racionalitás
      [Asymmetric information and/or bounded rationality: why are consumers protected and from what?]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 725-752.
    4. Michael Richards, 2012. "Using the economics of certification to improve the safety and quality of male circumcision in developing countries," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 77-85, March.
    5. Suh Jeongmeen, 2012. "A Theory of Optimal Quality Reports with Inertia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, December.
    6. Weijia Dai & Ginger Z. Jin & Jungmin Lee & Michael Luca, 2012. "Aggregation of Consumer Ratings: An Application to Yelp.com," NBER Working Papers 18567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ching-to Albert Ma & Henry Y. Mak, 2014. "Public Report, Price, and Quality," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 443-464, June.

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