Professional uncertainty and the problem of supplier-induced demand
This paper discusses the puzzling problem of large differences in per capita use of certain common surgical procedures among neighboring populations, which by all available measures are quite similar in need for and access to services. The evidence reviewed here supports the hypothesis that variations occur to a large extent because of differences among physicians in their evaluation of patients (diagnosis) or in their belief in the value of the procedures for meeting patient needs (therapy). This hypothesis, which we call the professional uncertainty hypothesis, is germane to current controversies concerning the nature and extent of supplier influence on the demand for medical services. It is also important because of its implications for health regulatory policy. Our plan is to (1) review the relevance of the hypotheses for the supplier-induced demand controversy; (2) review the epidemiologic evidence on the nature and causes of variation; (3) examine patterns of use of common surgical procedures to illustrate the importance of supplier influence on utilization; and (4) consider some of the implications of the professional uncertainty hypotheses for public policy.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 16 (1982)
Issue (Month): 7 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:16:y:1982:i:7:p:811-824. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.