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Quality and Employers' Choice of Health Plan

  • Michael Chernew
  • Gautam Gowrisankaran
  • Catherine McLaughlin
  • Teresa Gibson
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    We seek to understand the relationship between employer decisions regarding which health plans firms choose to offer to their employees and the performance of those plans. We measure performance using data from the Health Plan Employer Data Information Set (HEDIS) and the Consumer Assessment of Health Plan Survey (CAHPS). We use a unique data set that lists the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) available to, and offered by, large employers across markets in the year 2000, and examine the relationship between plan offerings, performance measures and other plan characteristics. We estimate two sets of specifications that differ in whether they model plan choice as a function of absolute plan performance or plan performance relative to competitors. We find that employers are more likely to offer plans with strong absolute and relative HEDIS and CAHPS performance measures. Our results are consistent with the view that large employers are responsive to the interests of their employees.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9847.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9847.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2003
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    Publication status: published as Chernew, Michael, Gautam Gowrisankaran, Catherine McLaughlin and Teresa Gibson. “Quality and Employers' Choice of Health Plan." Journal of Health Economics 23 (2004): 471–92.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9847
    Note: HE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. David Dranove & Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan & Mark Satterthwaite, 2002. "Is More Information Better? The Effects of 'Report Cards' on Health Care Providers," NBER Working Papers 8697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hirth, Richard A., 1999. "Consumer information and competition between nonprofit and for-profit nursing homes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 219-240, April.
    3. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Beaulieu, Nancy Dean, 2002. "Quality information and consumer health plan choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-63, January.
    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. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
    8. Glazer, Jacob & McGuire, Thomas G., 2002. "Multiple payers, commonality and free-riding in health care: Medicare and private payers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1049-1069, November.
    9. Michael Chernew & Gautam Gowrisankaran & Dennis P. Scanlon, 2001. "Learning and the Value of Information: Evidence From Health Plan Report Cards," NBER Working Papers 8589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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