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Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Leila Agha
  • Keith Marzilli Ericson
  • Kimberley H. Geissler
  • James B. Rebitzer

Abstract

How does team-specific capital affect productivity? We examine the teams that primary care physicians (PCPs) assemble when referring patients to specialists. Our theoretical model finds that team-specific capital is greater when PCPs concentrate their referrals within a smaller set of specialists. Empirically, we find patients of PCPs with concentrated referrals have lower healthcare costs, with no discernable reduction in quality. This effect exists for commercially insured and Medicare populations; is statistically and economically significant; and holds under identification strategies that account for unobserved patient and physician characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Leila Agha & Keith Marzilli Ericson & Kimberley H. Geissler & James B. Rebitzer, 2018. "Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks," NBER Working Papers 24338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24338
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    Cited by:

    1. Leila Agha & Keith Marzilli Ericson & Xiaoxi Zhao, 2020. "The Impact of Organizational Boundaries on Healthcare Coordination and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 28179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fadlon, Itzik & Van Parys, Jessica, 2020. "Primary care physician practice styles and patient care: Evidence from physician exits in Medicare," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    3. Böckerman, Petri & Laine, Liisa T. & Nurminen, Mikko & Saxell, Tanja, 2020. "Information Integration, Coordination Failures, and Quality of Prescribing," Working Papers 135, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Agha, Leila & Frandsen, Brigham & Rebitzer, James B., 2019. "Fragmented division of labor and healthcare costs: Evidence from moves across regions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 144-159.
    5. Kimberley H Geissler & Benjamin Lubin & Keith M Marzilli Ericson, 2020. "The association between patient sharing network structure and healthcare costs," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(6), pages 1-13, June.
    6. Kimberley H. Geissler & Benjamin Lubin & Keith M. Marzilli Ericson, 2021. "The association of insurance plan characteristics with physician patient-sharing network structure," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 189-201, June.
    7. Sebastian Linde, 2019. "The formation of physician patient sharing networks in medicare: Exploring the effect of hospital affiliation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(12), pages 1435-1448, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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