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Do markets respond to quality information? the case of fertility clinics

Journal Articles

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Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 28, page(s): 718-727

2009

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Although policymakers have increasingly turned to provider report cards as a tool to improve health care quality, existing studies provide mixed evidence that they influence consumer choices. We examine the effects of providing consumers with quality information in the context of fertility clinics providing Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART). We report three main findings. First, clinics with higher birthrates had larger market shares after relative to before the adoption of report cards. Second, clinics with a disproportionate share of young, relatively easy-to-treat patients had lower market shares after adoption versus before. This suggests that consumers take into account information on patient mix when evaluating clinic outcomes. Third, report cards had larger effects on consumers and clinics from states with ART insurance coverage mandates. We conclude that quality report cards have potential to influence provider behavior in this setting.

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