Kopafbeelding publicaties CPB

Quality and hospital choice for cataract treatments: the winner takes most

CPB Discussion Paper 272, 14 May 2014

We study the impact of quality on patient volume and hospital choice for cataract treatments. Our dataset covers the period 2006-2011 and includes all 854,613 patients who underwent a cataract treatment in the Netherlands.

At the aggregate-level we find that, a one-point quality increase, on a scale of one to a hundred, would raise patient volume for the average hospital by 2-4%. This effect is mainly due to the performance of the top performing hospital. This effect halves after excluding this hospital from the dataset. Also at the individual-level, we find, all else being equal, that patients are willing to travel an additional 11km or more for the top performing as opposed to other hospitals. Our results suggest that the impact of quality on patient volume and willingness to travel is non-linear. Only the top performing hospital is able to attract significantly more patients.

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