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Market conditions and general practitioners’ referrals

Ching-to Ma () and Tor Iversen ()

No WP2010-023, Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series from Boston University - Department of Economics

Abstract: We study how market conditions influence referrals of patients by general practitioners (GPs).We set up a model ofGP referral for theNorwegian health care system, where a GP receives capitation payment based on the number of patients in his practice, as well as fee-for-service reimbursements. A GP may accept new patients or close the practice to new patients. We model GPs as partially altruistic, and compete for patients. We show that a GP operating in a more competitive market has a higher referral rate. To compete for patients and to retain them, a GP satisfies patients’ requests for referrals. Furthermore, a GP who faces a patient shortage will refer more often than a GP who does not. Tests with Norwegian GP radiology referral data support our theory.

Keywords: Physician; Service motive; Profit motive; Referral; Radiology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 H42 I10 I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: Market conditions and general practitioners’ referrals (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Market Conditions and General Practitioners’ Referrals (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Market Conditions and General Practitioners' Referrals
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