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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
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uninsured; Medicaid; Physician Quality; Hospital Ownership;
    All these keywords.

    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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