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Do Health Care Report Cards Cause Providers to Select Patients and Raise Quality of Care?

  • Yijuan Chen
  • Juergen Meinecke

We exploit a brief period of asymmetric information during the implementation of Pennsylvania’s “report card” scheme for coronary artery bypass graft surgery to test for improvements in quality of care and selection of patients by health care providers. During the ?rst three years of the 1990s, providers in Pennsylvania had an incentive to bias report cards by selecting patients strategically, with patients having no access to the report cards. This dichotomy enables us to separate providers’ selection of patients from patients’ selection of providers. Using data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, we estimate a non–linear difference–in– differences model and derive asymptotic standard errors. The mortality rate for bypass patients decreases by only 0.05 percentage points due to the report cards, which we interpret as evidence that quality of bypass surgery did not improve (at least in the short–term) nor did patient selection by providers occur. Our timing, estimation, and asymptotics are readily applicable to many other report card schemes.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP657.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 657.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:657
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  1. Gravelle, Hugh & Sivey, Peter, 2010. "Imperfect information in a quality-competitive hospital market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 524-535, July.
  2. Gaskin, Darrell J., 1997. "Altruism or moral hazard: The impact of hospital uncompensated care pools," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 397-416, August.
  3. Hansen, Christian B., 2007. "Asymptotic properties of a robust variance matrix estimator for panel data when T is large," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 597-620, December.
  4. Yijuan Chen, 2009. "Why Are Health Care Report Cards So Bad (Good)?," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2009-511, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  5. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2008. "Panel data methods for fractional response variables with an application to test pass rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 121-133, July.
  6. Hansen, Christian B., 2007. "Generalized least squares inference in panel and multilevel models with serial correlation and fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 670-694, October.
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