The Hidden Cost of Transitioning to a Paid Service: The Effect of Unexpected Revealing of New Patient Prospects on Physicians’ Service Quality in Online Healthcare Communities
5 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 16, 2018
In this research, we seek to understand how physicians would respond to a policy change, i.e. promoting paid consultations over free services, on an online platform. We found that, contrary to general expectations, physicians’ service quality increased for free consultations and decreased for paid consultations. Our findings have important theoretical and practical implications.
Keywords: Physician-Oriented Online Healthcare Communities (OHCs), Free and Paid Services, New Patient Prospects, Existing Patients, Service Quality, Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD)
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