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Physician Participation in Health Insurance Plans: Evidence on Blue Shield


  • Frank A. Sloan
  • Bruce Steinwald


Various health insurance programs, including Blue Shield, have developed arrangements whereby the physician agrees to accept the insurer's reimbursement as payment in full. Incentives facing the physician to accept an arrangement of this type are reviewed in this study. The empirical work uses data on individual physicians from a 1973 survey. The results indicate that physician willingness to accept insurer reimbursement as payment in full is sensitive to the amount the insurer pays for specific procedures and to other insurance program characteristics. Physicians located in high patient income areas and/ or with relatively prestigious credentials are less likely to accept insurer payments as payment in full. The empirical findings are used to generate policy implications pertaining to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, to medical care quality-access tradeoffs, and to national health insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A. Sloan & Bruce Steinwald, 1978. "Physician Participation in Health Insurance Plans: Evidence on Blue Shield," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 13(2), pages 237-263.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:13:y:1978:i:2:p:237-263

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davidson, Carl & Woodbury, Stephen A, 1993. "The Displacement Effect of Reemployment Bonus Programs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 575-605, October.
    2. Woodbury, Stephen A & Spiegelman, Robert G, 1987. "Bonuses to Workers and Employers to Reduce Unemployment: Randomized Trials in Illinois," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 513-530, September.
    3. Paul T. Decker & Christopher J. L'Leary, 1995. "Evaluating Pooled Evidence from the Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 534-550.
    4. Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert G. Spiegelman & Kenneth J. Kline, 1995. "Do bonus offers shorten unemployment insurance spells? results from the washington experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 245-269.
    5. Walter Corson & Paul T. Decker & Shari Miller Dunstan & Anne R. Gordon, "undated". "The New Jersey Unemployment Insurance Reemployment Demonstration Project: Final Evaluation Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a1188b0b75ad4085ab98457be, Mathematica Policy Research.
    6. repec:mpr:mprres:1978 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:mpr:mprres:3003 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Robert B. Olsen & Marisa Kelso & Paul T. Decker & Daniel H. Klepinger, 2002. "Predicting the Exhaustion of Unemployment Compensation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d0a9027f813a4bc397fce1190, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
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    11. Paul T. Decker, "undated". "Work Incentives and Disincentives," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e09c4ee64359405c8a52e13c4, Mathematica Policy Research.
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