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Firm responses to targeted consumer incentives: Evidence from reference pricing for surgical services

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  • Whaley, Christopher M.
  • Brown, Timothy T.

Abstract

This paper examines how health care providers respond to a reference pricing insurance program that increases consumer cost sharing when consumers choose high-priced surgical providers. We use geographic variation in the population covered by the program to estimate supply-side responses. We find limited evidence of market segmentation and price reductions for providers with baseline prices above the reference price. Finally, approximately 75% of the reduction in provider prices is in the form of a positive externality that benefits a population not subject to the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Whaley, Christopher M. & Brown, Timothy T., 2018. "Firm responses to targeted consumer incentives: Evidence from reference pricing for surgical services," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 111-133.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:111-133
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2018.06.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie, 2022. "Coinsurance vs. co-payments: Reimbursement rules for a monopolistic medical product with competitive health insurers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    2. Ackley, Calvin A., 2022. "Tiered cost sharing and health care demand," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    3. Geruso, Michael & Richards, Michael R., 2022. "Trading spaces: Medicare's regulatory spillovers on treatment setting for non-Medicare patients," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    4. Whaley, Christopher M., 2019. "Provider responses to online price transparency," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 241-259.
    5. Marion Aouad & Timothy T. Brown & Christopher M. Whaley, 2021. "Understanding the distributional impacts of health insurance reform: Evidence from a consumer cost‐sharing program," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(11), pages 2780-2793, November.
    6. Richards, Michael R. & Seward, Jonathan A. & Whaley, Christopher M., 2022. "Treatment consolidation after vertical integration: Evidence from outpatient procedure markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    7. Aouad, Marion & Brown, Timothy T. & Whaley, Christopher M., 2019. "Reference pricing: The case of screening colonoscopies," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 246-259.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reference pricing; Provider prices; Health care markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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