Insurance Rebates, Incentives and Primary Care in Australia
Australia has a universal, compulsory, public health insurance scheme that includes insurance rebates for private fee-for-service medical practitioner services. Recent sweeping changes to the rebates for general practitioner (GP) services provide an opportunity to observe the effects of widespread insurance changes on the behaviour of GPs and aggregate outcomes such as quantities, prices and co-payments. In this paper, we study the effect of two important changes to subsidies for GP services, the first of which increased the rebates payable for services provided to specific patient groups, and the second of which increased rebates payable for all patients. Using economic theory, predictions of the effect of the rebate increase on quantities, prices and co-payments are produced that depend on the structure of the market. Using time-series data, we then present short-run empirical evidence that suggests that the supply curve for GP services is backward-bending.
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Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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- Elizabeth Savage & Glenn Jones, 2004. "An Analysis of the General Practice Access Scheme on GP Incomes, Bulk Billing and Consumer Copayments," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(1), pages 31-40, March.
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