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TitlePatient mobility and health care quality when regions and patients differ in income
Author(s)Brekke, Kurt R.
Levaggi, Rosella
Siciliani, Luigi
Straume, Odd Rune
KeywordsPatient mobility
Health care quality
Income inequalities
Regional welfare
Salop model
Issue dateDec-2016
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Abstract(s)We study the effects of cross-border patient mobility on health care quality and welfare when income varies across and within regions. We use a Salop model with a high-, middle-, and low-income region. In each region, a policy maker chooses health care quality to maximise the utility of its residents when health care costs are financed by general income taxation. In equilibrium, regions with higher income offer better quality, which creates an incentive for patient mobility from lower- to higher-income regions. Assuming a prospective payment scheme based on DRG-pricing, we find that lower non-monetary (administrative) mobility costs have (i) no effect on quality or welfare in the high-income region; (ii) a negative effect on quality but a positive effect on welfare for the middle-income region; and (iii) ambiguous effects on quality and welfare for the low-income region. Lower monetary mobility costs (copayments) might reduce welfare in both the middle- and low-income region. Thus, health policies that stimulate cross-border patient mobility can be counterproductive when regions differ in income.
Publisher version
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:NIPE - Artigos em Revistas de Circulação Internacional com Arbitragem Científica

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