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The effects of expanding patient choice of provider on waiting times: evidence from a policy experiment

  • Diane Dawson

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Hugh Gravelle

    (National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of York, UK)

  • Rowena Jacobs

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Stephen Martin

    (Department of Economics, University of York, UK)

  • Peter C. Smith

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)

Long waiting times for inpatient treatment in the UK National Health Service have been a source of popular and political concern, and therefore a target for policy initiatives. In the London Patient Choice Project, patients at risk of breaching inpatient waiting time targets were offered the choice of an alternative hospital with a guaranteed shorter wait. This paper develops a simple theoretical model of the effect of greater patient choice on waiting times. It then uses a difference in difference econometric methodology to estimate the impact of the London choice project on ophthalmology waiting times. In line with the model predictions, the project led to shorter average waiting times in the London region and a convergence in waiting times amongst London hospitals. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 113-128

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:113-128
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  1. Hugh Gravelle & Peter Smith & Ana Xavier, 2003. "Performance signals in the public sector: the case of health care," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 81-103, January.
  2. Peter C. Smith, 2005. "Performance Measurement in Health Care: History, Challenges and Prospects," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(4), pages 213-220, 08.
  3. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  4. repec:rus:hseeco:122140 is not listed on IDEAS
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