Is More Information Better? The Effects of 'Report Cards' on Health Care Providers

33 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2002 Last revised: 16 May 2003

See all articles by David Dranove

David Dranove

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Daniel P. Kessler

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

Mark B. McClellan

Brookings Institution; Council of Economic Advisors; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Mark Satterthwaite

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

Health care report cards - public disclosure of patient health outcomes at the level of the individual physician and/or hospital - may address important informational asymmetries in markets for health care, but they may also give doctors and hospitals incentives to decline to treat more difficult, severely ill patients. Whether report cards are good for patients and for society depends on whether their financial and health benefits outweigh their costs in terms of the quantity, quality, and appropriateness of medical treatment that they induce. Using national data on Medicare patients at risk for cardiac surgery, we find that cardiac surgery report cards in New York and Pennsylvania led both to selection behavior by providers and to improved matching of patients with hospitals. On net, this led to higher levels of resource use and to worse health outcomes, particularly for sicker patients. We conclude that, at least in the short run, these report cards decreased patient and social welfare.

Suggested Citation

Dranove, David and Kessler, Daniel Philip and McClellan, Mark B. and Satterthwaite, Mark A., Is More Information Better? The Effects of 'Report Cards' on Health Care Providers (January 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8697. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=296541

David Dranove

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

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Daniel Philip Kessler (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

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Mark B. McClellan

Brookings Institution ( email )

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Council of Economic Advisors ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Mark A. Satterthwaite

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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