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Is Great Information Good Enough? Evidence from Physicians as Patients

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  • Michael D. Frakes
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Anupam Jena

Abstract

Stemming from the belief that the key barrier to achieving high-quality and low-cost health care is the deficiency of information and medical knowledge among patients, an enormous number of health policies are focused on patient education. In this paper, we attempt to place an upper bound on the improvements to health care quality that may emanate from such information campaigns. To do so, we compare the care received by a group of patients that should have the best possible information on health care service efficacy—i.e., physicians as patients—with a comparable group of non-physician patients, taking various steps to account for unobservable differences between the two groups. Our results suggest that physicians do only slightly better in adhering to both low- and high-value care guidelines than non-physicians – but not by much and not always.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Frakes & Jonathan Gruber & Anupam Jena, 2019. "Is Great Information Good Enough? Evidence from Physicians as Patients," NBER Working Papers 26038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26038
    Note: AG CH HC HE PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Wang, Justin & Hockenberry, Jason & Chou, Shin-Yi & Yang, Muzhe, 2011. "Do bad report cards have consequences? Impacts of publicly reported provider quality information on the CABG market in Pennsylvania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 392-407, March.
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    7. Michael D. Frakes & Jonathan Gruber, 2018. "Defensive Medicine: Evidence from Military Immunity," NBER Working Papers 24846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Artmann, Elisabeth & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2019. "Do doctors improve the health care of their parents? Evidence from admission lotteries," CEPR Discussion Papers 14061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets

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