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Physician Quality and Health Care for the Poor and Uninsured

Author

Listed:
  • Lara Bryant

    () (Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University)

  • Sharmila Vishwasrao

    () (Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University)

Abstract

Many studies have documented adverse health outcomes for uninsured patients in U.S. hospitals. These poor outcomes have been attributed to their health status and limited access to healthcare. A measure of treatment that remains unexplored is the quality of the physicians treating uninsured patients. We examine whether uninsured and poor patients are treated by lower quality physicians with four measures of physician quality. Using a hospital fixed-effects model, we find that cardiac patients are matched to physician quality based on their ability to pay. Even after controlling for average physician quality within a hospital and patient characteristics, we find that uninsured and Medicaid patients are generally treated by lower quality physicians. We also find that while for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals treat the uninsured with lower quality physicians, government hospitals do not. However, there is evidence that hospitals of all ownership types treat Medicaid patients with lower quality physicians.

Suggested Citation

  • Lara Bryant & Sharmila Vishwasrao, 2006. "Physician Quality and Health Care for the Poor and Uninsured," Working Papers 06001, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fal:wpaper:06001
    as

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    File URL: http://home.fau.edu/svishwas/web/Physician%20Quality%20and%20Outcomes2.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Burns, Lawton R. & Wholey, Douglas R., 1992. "The impact of physician characteristics in conditional choice models for hospital care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 43-62, May.
    2. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
    3. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    4. Busch, Susan H. & Duchovny, Noelia, 2005. "Family coverage expansions: Impact on insurance coverage and health care utilization of parents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 876-890, September.
    5. Mehdi Farsi, 2004. "Changes in Hospital Quality after Conversion in Ownership Status," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 211-230, September.
    6. Sloan, Frank A. & Picone, Gabriel A. & TaylorJr., Donald H. & Chou, Shin-Yi, 2001. "Hospital ownership and cost and quality of care: is there a dime's worth of difference?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-21, January.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:5:811-816_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Silverman, Elaine & Skinner, Jonathan, 2004. "Medicare upcoding and hospital ownership," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 369-389, March.
    9. Lichtenberg Frank R., 2002. "The Effects of Medicare on Health Care Utilization and Outcomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-29, January.
    10. Propper, Carol & Burgess, Simon & Green, Katherine, 2004. "Does competition between hospitals improve the quality of care?: Hospital death rates and the NHS internal market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1247-1272, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uninsured; Medicaid; Physician Quality; Hospital Ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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