Department of Economics and Business Economics

Discontinuity in care: Practice closures among primary care providers and patient health care utilization

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We evaluate the consequences for patients of being matched to a new primary care provider due to practice closures. Using an event study and population-level data of patients and providers in Denmark, we find that the transition between providers is smooth; among re-matched patients, there is little change in primary care utilization at the extensive margin. Second, we document a 17% increase in fee-for-service per visit and a large increase in the probability that the patient initiates drug therapy targeting chronic and underdiagnosed diseases (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes). Additionally, the re-matched patients are more likely to be admitted to inpatient care for these diseases. The increase in therapeutic initiation is not primarily because the new providers are relatively predisposed to prescribing these drugs. Instead, it appears that when patients match to new providers, there is a consequential reassessment of patients’ medical needs which leads to the initiation of new treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102551
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume80
ISSN0167-6296
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

    Research areas

  • Disruption, Physician practice closure, Practice styles

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