Lorenz Adams - Reputation in Patient Hospital Selection: Empirical Evidence from Australia

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Title: Reputation in Patient Hospital Selection: Empirical Evidence from Australia

Abstract: This paper studies the role of reputation effects in individual hospital selection. Our analysis focuses on birth episodes in the Melbourne metropolitan area from 2011/12. We examine the decision behaviour of pregnant women with private health insurance in choosing one of 18 local hospitals. We evaluate the importance of hospital reputation through two separate strands of analysis. Firstly, we examine the distance patients travel between their home and the chosen clinic. In the second part of the paper we estimate the probability of individual hospitals being visited. We find significant clinic specific differences in the willingness to travel, which suggests that patients travel further to attend more reputable institutions. This result is complemented by substantial variation in the likelihood of individual hospitals being chosen. These differences are predominantly linked to hospital criteria and performance indicators.

Presenter: Lorenz Adams, University of Exeter

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