The Impact of Star Physicians on Diffusion of a Medical Technology: The Case of Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass Surgery
33 Pages Posted: 15 May 2012
Date Written: March 14, 2012
Using data on all bariatric surgeries performed in the state of Pennsylvania from 1995 through 2007, this paper uses logistic and OLS regressions to measure the effect of star physicians and star hospitals on the diffusion of an innovation in bariatric surgery called laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery (LGBS). This paper tests for effects at both the hospital and physician level. Compared to hospitals with no star physicians (11% adoption rate), those with star physicians on staff show a much higher adoption rate (89%). Compared to hospitals which are not classified as star hospitals (13% diffusion rate), hospitals with star status show a much higher diffusion rate (87% ) from first quarter 2000 to fourth quarter 2001. At the physician level, the empirical results indicate that star physicians exert positive asymmetric influence on the adoption and utilization rates of non-stars at the same hospital. Star physicians are those who: (i) graduated from a Top 30 medical school or (ii) completed residency at a Top 30 hospital or (iii) are included in a Castle & Connolly Top Doctors ® publication. Star hospitals are those with Council of Teaching Hospital (COTH) certification. The results of this paper support earlier work on the role of key individuals in technology diffusion. It extends research on medical technology diffusion by testing a new data set for a chronic disease treatment.
Keywords: medical technology diffusion, star physicians
JEL Classification: D2, I10, I11, L2, O33
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