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Can pay‐for‐performance to primary care providers stimulate appropriate use of antibiotics?

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  • Lina Maria Ellegård
  • Jens Dietrichson
  • Anders Anell

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide. As the healthcare sector's use of antibiotics is an important contributor to the development of resistance, it is crucial that physicians only prescribe antibiotics when needed and that they choose narrow‐spectrum antibiotics, which act on fewer bacteria types, when possible. Inappropriate use of antibiotics is nonetheless widespread, not least for respiratory tract infections (RTI), a common reason for antibiotics prescriptions. We examine if pay‐for‐performance (P4P) presents a way to influence primary care physicians' choice of antibiotics. During 2006–2013, 8 Swedish healthcare authorities adopted P4P to make physicians select narrow‐spectrum antibiotics more often in the treatment of children with RTI. Exploiting register data on all purchases of RTI antibiotics in a difference‐in‐differences analysis, we find that P4P significantly increased the share of narrow‐spectrum antibiotics. There are no signs that physicians gamed the system by issuing more prescriptions overall.

Suggested Citation

  • Lina Maria Ellegård & Jens Dietrichson & Anders Anell, 2018. "Can pay‐for‐performance to primary care providers stimulate appropriate use of antibiotics?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 39-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:e39-e54
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.3535
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    Cited by:

    1. Blix, Mårten & Jeansson, Johanna, 2018. "Telemedicine and the Welfare State: The Swedish Experience," Working Paper Series 1238, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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