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Who Ordered That? The Economics of Treatment Choices in Medical Care

Amitabh Chandra, David Cutler and Zirui Song

Chapter Chapter Six in Handbook of Health Economics, 2011, vol. 2, pp 397-432 from Elsevier

Abstract: In the United States, two patients with the same medical condition can receive drastically different treatments. In addition, the same patient can walk into two physicians’ offices and receive equally disparate treatments. This chapter attempts to understand why. It focuses on three areas: the patient, the physician, and the clinical situation. Specifically, the chapter surveys patient or demand-side factors such as price, income, and preferences; physician or supply-side factors such as specialization, financial incentives, and professionalism; and situational factors including behavioral influences and systems-level factors that play a role in clinical decision making. This chapter reviews theory and evidence, borrowing heavily from the clinical literature.

Keywords: variations; decision making; demand heterogeneity; preferences; income; supply-side incentives; payment systems; specialization; behavioral economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 I10 I12 J44 L84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53592-4.00006-2

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