Gatekeeping versus direct-access when patient information matters
We develop a principal-agent model in which the health authority acts as a principal for both a patient and a general practitioner (GP). The goal of the paper is to weigh the merits of gatekeeping versus non-gatekeeping approaches to health care when patient self-health information and patient pressure on GPs to provide referrals for specialized care are considered. We find that, when GPs incentives matter, a non-gatekeeping system is preferable only when (i) patient pressure to refer is sufficiently high and (ii) the quality of the patient's self-health information is neither highly inaccurate (in which case the patient's self-referral will be very inefficient) nor highly accurate (in which case the GP's agency problem will be very costly). Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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