Primary Care Competition and Quality of Care: Empirical Evidence from Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting System

53 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018  

Christopher Brunt

Georgia Southern University - Department of Finance and Economics

Joshua R. Hendrickson

University of Mississippi; American Institute for Economic Research

John R. Bowblis

Miami University of Ohio - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 10, 2018

Abstract

Using data from Medicare’s Physician Compare Quality Reporting System, we explore the effects of primary care physician (PCP) practice competition on four distinct quality metrics directly tied to screening and follow-up care. Controlling for physician and practice attributes, we find strong evidence that primary care practices in more concentrated markets are less likely to perform screening and follow- ups for blood pressure, body weight, depression, and tobacco use. These results suggest that mergers of physician practice may harm quality competition implying that antitrust merger review should not only focus on how provider mergers impact commercially insured prices but also quality for Medicare beneficiaries.

Keywords: competition, HHI, primary care, quality

JEL Classification: I11, L11

Suggested Citation

Brunt, Christopher and Hendrickson, Joshua R. and Bowblis, John R., Primary Care Competition and Quality of Care: Empirical Evidence from Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting System (August 10, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3229955 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3229955

Christopher Brunt

Georgia Southern University - Department of Finance and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 815s
Statesboro, GA 30460
United States

Joshua R. Hendrickson (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi ( email )

Oxford, MS 38677
United States

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

John R. Bowblis

Miami University of Ohio - Department of Economics ( email )

800 E. High St.
Farmer School of Business, 2054
Oxford, OH 45056
United States

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