Expanding Patients' Property Rights in Their Medical Records

35 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2014

See all articles by Laurence C. Baker

Laurence C. Baker

Stanford University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

M. Kate Bundorf

Stanford University - Department of Health Research and Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel P. Kessler

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Although doctors and hospitals own their patients' medical records, state and federal laws require that they provide patients with a copy at "reasonable cost." We examine the effects of state laws that cap the fees that doctors and hospitals are allowed to charge patients for a copy of their records. We test whether these laws affected patients' propensity to switch doctors and the prices of new- and existing-patient visits. We also examine the effect of laws on hospitals' adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. We find that patients from states adopting caps on copy fees were significantly more likely to switch doctors, and that hospitals in states adopting caps were significantly more likely to install an EMR. We also find that laws did not have a systematic, significant effect on prices.

Suggested Citation

Baker, Laurence C. and Bundorf, M. Kate and Kessler, Daniel Philip, Expanding Patients' Property Rights in Their Medical Records (October 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20565. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2510062

Laurence C. Baker (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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M. Kate Bundorf

Stanford University - Department of Health Research and Policy ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel Philip Kessler

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-723-4492 (Phone)
650-725-6152 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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