Asymmetric Information from Physician Agency: Optimal Payment and Healthcare Quantity
We model asymmetric information arising from physician agency, and its effect on the design of payment and healthcare quantity. The physician-patient coalition aims to maximize a combination of physician profit and patient benefit. The degree of substitution between profit and patient benefit in the physician-patient coalition is the physician’s private information, as is the patient’s intrinsic valuation of treatment quantity. The equilibrium mechanism depends only on the physician-patient coalition parameter. Moreover, the equilibrium mechanism exhibits extensive pooling, with prescribed quantity and payment being insensitive to the agency characteristics or patient’s actual benefit. The optimal mechanism is interpreted as managed care where strict approval protocols are placed on treatments.
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