Physician reimbursement, time-consistency and the quality of care
[Ärztevergütung, Zeitkonsistenz und die Qualität medizinischer Leistungen]
We use a model of horizontal and vertical differentiation to study physicians’ incentives to provide quality in the physician-patient relationship under price regulation. If the price is the only regulatory variable, the social planner cannot implement the first-best policy. Moreover, the second-best policy is time inconsistent. Excess entry and firstbest efficient total quality provision is observed in the game without commitment. Allowing physicians to compete in prices does not solve the commitment problem since the competitive solution coincides with the time consistent outcome. In the median voter equilibrium the time consistency problem is more severe.
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