Johar, M., Mu, C., van Gool, K. & Wong, C.Y. 2017, 'Bleeding hearts, profiteers, or both specialist physician fees in an unregulated market', Health Economics, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 528-535.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study shows that, in an unregulated fee-setting environment, specialist physicians practise price discrimination on the basis of
their patients' income status. Our results are consistent with profit maximisation behaviour by specialists. These findings are based
on a large population survey that is linked to administrative medical claims records. We find that, for an initial consultation, specialist
physicians charge their high-income patients AU$26 more than their low-income patients. While this gap equates to a
19% lower fees for the poorest patients (bottom 25% of the household income distribution), it is unlikely to remove the substantial
financial barriers they face in accessing specialist care. There are large variations across specialties, with neurologists exhibiting the
largest fee gap between the high-income and low-income patients. Several possible channels for deducing the patient's income are
examined. We find that patient characteristics such as age, health concession card status and private health insurance status are all
used by specialists as proxies for income status. These characteristics are particularly important to further practise price discrimination
among the low-income patients but are less relevant for the high-income patients. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Wong, C., Greene, J., Dolja-Gore, X. & van Gool, K. 2017, 'The rise and fall in out-of-pocket costs in Australia: An analysis of the Strengthening Medicare Reforms', Health Economics, vol. 26, no. 8, pp. 962-979.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
Kenny, P., De Abreu Lourenco, R., Wong, C.Y., Haas, M. & Goodall, S. 2016, 'Community preferences in general practice: important factors for choosing a general practitioner.', Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 26-38.
Understanding the important factors for choosing a general practitioner (GP) can inform the provision of consumer information and contribute to the design of primary care services.To identify the factors considered important when choosing a GP and to explore subgroup differences.An online survey asked about the respondent's experience of GP care and included 36 questions on characteristics important to the choice of GP.An Australian population sample (n = 2481) of adults aged 16 or more.Principal components analysis identified dimensions for the creation of summated scales, and regression analysis was used to identify patient characteristics associated with each scale.The 36 questions were combined into five scales (score range 1-5) labelled: care quality, types of services, availability, cost and practice characteristics. Care quality was the most important factor (mean = 4.4, SD = 0.6) which included questions about technical care, interpersonal care and continuity. Cost (including financial and time cost) was also important (mean = 4.1, SD = 0.6). The least important factor was types of services (mean = 3.3, SD = 0.9), which covered the range of different services provided by or co-located with the practice. Frequent GP users and females had higher scores across all 5 scales, while the importance of care quality increased with age.When choosing a GP, information about the quality of care would be most useful to consumers. Respondents varied in the importance given to some factors including types of services, suggesting the need for a range of alternative primary care services.