The effects of expanding patient choice of provider on waiting times: evidence from a policy experiment
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.
Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (02)
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