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Do Markets Respond to Quality Information? The Case of Fertility Clinics

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  • M. Kate Bundorf
  • Natalie Chun
  • Gopi Shah Goda
  • Daniel P. Kessler

Abstract

Although policymakers have increasingly turned to provider report cards as a tool to improve health care quality, existing studies provide mixed evidence that they influence consumer choices. We examine the effects of providing consumers with quality information in the context of fertility clinics providing Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART). We report three main findings. First, clinics with higher birthrates had larger market shares after relative to before the adoption of report cards. Second, clinics with a disproportionate share of young, relatively easy-to-treat patients had lower market shares after adoption versus before. This suggests that consumers take into account information on patient mix when evaluating clinic outcomes. Third, report cards had larger effects on consumers and clinics from states with ART insurance coverage mandates. We conclude that quality report cards have potential to influence provider behavior in this setting.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Kate Bundorf & Natalie Chun & Gopi Shah Goda & Daniel P. Kessler, 2008. "Do Markets Respond to Quality Information? The Case of Fertility Clinics," NBER Working Papers 13888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13888
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M. Kate Bundorf & Melinda Henne & Laurence Baker, 2007. "Mandated Health Insurance Benefits and the Utilization and Outcomes of Infertility Treatments," NBER Working Papers 12820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cutler, David & Landrum, Mary Beth & Huckman, Robert, 2004. "The Role of Information in Medical Markets: An Analysis of Publicly Reported Outcomes in Cardiac Surgery," Scholarly Articles 2640582, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Jin, Ginger Zhe & Sorensen, Alan T., 2006. "Information and consumer choice: The value of publicized health plan ratings," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 248-275, March.
    4. Wedig, Gerard J. & Tai-Seale, Ming, 2002. "The effect of report cards on consumer choice in the health insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1031-1048, November.
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    6. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
    7. Beaulieu, Nancy Dean, 2002. "Quality information and consumer health plan choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-63, January.
    8. David M. Cutler & Robert S. Huckman & Mary Beth Landrum, 2004. "The Role of Information in Medical Markets: An Analysis of Publicly Reported Outcomes in Cardiac Surgery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 342-346, May.
    9. Cardell, N. Scott, 1997. "Variance Components Structures for the Extreme-Value and Logistic Distributions with Application to Models of Heterogeneity," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 185-213, April.
    10. Marianne Bitler & Lucie Schmidt, 2006. "Health disparities and infertility: impacts of state-level insurance mandates," Department of Economics Working Papers 2006-04, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Nov 2006.
    11. Leemore Dafny & David Dranove, 2008. "Do report cards tell consumers anything they don't already know? The case of Medicare HMOs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 790-821.
    12. Scanlon, Dennis P. & Chernew, Michael & McLaughlin, Catherine & Solon, Gary, 2002. "The impact of health plan report cards on managed care enrollment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-41, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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