Team Formation and Performance: Evidence from Healthcare Referral Networks
63 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021
Date Written: February 2018
How does team-specific capital affect productivity? We examine the teams that primary care physicians (PCPs) assemble when referring patients to specialists. Our theoretical model finds that team-specific capital is greater when PCPs concentrate their referrals within a smaller set of specialists. Empirically, we find patients of PCPs with concentrated referrals have lower healthcare costs, with no discernable reduction in quality. This effect exists for commercially insured and Medicare populations; is statistically and economically significant; and holds under identification strategies that account for unobserved patient and physician characteristics.
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