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Choice, quality and patients’ experience: evidence from a Finnish physiotherapy service

Visa Pitkänen () and Ismo Linnosmaa
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Ismo Linnosmaa: University of Eastern Finland

International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 2021, vol. 21, issue 2, No 4, 229-245

Abstract: Abstract We study the relationship between patient choices and provider quality in a rehabilitation service for disabled patients who receive the service frequently but do not have access to quality information. Previous research has found a positive relationship between patient choices and provider quality in health services that patients typically do not have previous experience or use frequently. We contribute by examining choices of new patients and experienced patients who were either forced to switch or actively switched their provider. In the analysis, we combine register data on patients’ choices and switches with provider quality data from a competitive bidding, and estimate conditional logit choice models. The results show that all patients prefer high-quality providers within short distances. We find that the willingness to travel for quality is highest among new patients and active switchers. These results suggest that new patients and active switchers compare different alternatives more thoroughly, whereas forced switchers choose their new provider in limited time leading into poorer choices.

Keywords: Choice; Quality; Competition; Demand; Health care (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 D12 I11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10754-020-09293-z

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International Journal of Health Economics and Management is currently edited by Leemore Dafny, Robert Town, Mark Pauly, David Dranove and Pedro Pita Barros

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