Treatment Intensity and Provider Remuneration: Dentists in the British National Health Service
Dental service providers in the British National Health Service (NHS) operate under a number of remuneration arrangements that give rise to different incentives. Using data derived from the Scottish dental system, we examine the relationships between remuneration, patient exemption status and treatment intensity. After controlling for differences in patient need and dentist-specific preferences, we find that self-employed dentists treat patients who are exempt from payment more intensively than their salaried counterparts. The results imply that changes in remuneration can have a large effect on the distribution of treatments. More generally, our results provide support for economic models that view financial incentives as important determinants of physician behaviour. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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