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

See all articles by Seyoung Seol

Seyoung Seol

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Lu (Lucy) Yan

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Jingjng Zhang

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Hillol Bala

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Liuan Wang

School of Economics and Management, Beihang University

Date Written: November 16, 2018

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

Seol, Seyoung and Yan, Lu (Lucy) and Zhang, Jingjng and Bala, Hillol and Wang, Liuan, 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 (November 16, 2018). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 19-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285916 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3285916

Seyoung Seol

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

1309 East 10th Street
Hodge Hall 4100
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Lu (Lucy) Yan (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Department of Operations and Decision Technologies
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Jingjng Zhang

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

1309 E. Tenth Street
HH4143
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Hillol Bala

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Business 670
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Liuan Wang

School of Economics and Management, Beihang University ( email )

37 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100191
China

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