Do markets respond to quality information? The case of fertility clinics
Although policymakers have increasingly turned to provider report cards as a tool to improve health care quality, existing studies provide mixed evidence on whether they influence consumer choices. We examine the effects of providing consumers with quality information in the context of fertility clinics providing Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART). We report three main findings. First, clinics with higher birth rates had larger market shares after the adoption of report cards relative to before. Second, clinics with a disproportionate share of young, relatively easy-to-treat patients had lower market shares after adoption versus before. This suggests that consumers take into account information on patient mix when evaluating clinic outcomes. Third, report cards had larger effects on consumers and clinics from states with ART insurance coverage mandates. We conclude that consumers respond to quality report cards when choosing among providers of ART.
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