Hospital reimbursement and capacity constraints: Evidence from orthopedic surgeries

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Huitfeldt, Ingrid




Health Policy


Sammendrag (engelsk)

Health care providers’ response to payment incentives may have consequences for both fiscal spending and patient health. This paper studies the effects of a change in the payment scheme for hospitals in Norway. In 2010, payments for patients discharged on the day of admission were substantially decreased, while payments for stays lasting longer than one day were increased. This gave hospitals incentives to shift patients from one-day stays to two-day stays, or to decrease the admission of one-day stays. I study hospital responses using two separate difference-in-differences estimation strategies, exploiting, first, the difference in price changes across diagnoses, and secondly, the difference in bed capacity across hospitals. Focusing on orthopedic patients, I find no evidence that hospitals respond to price changes, and capacity constraints do not appear to explain this finding. Results imply that the current payment policy yields little scope for policymakers to affect the health care spending and treatment choices.


Provider incentive; Hospital reimbursement; Price response; Capacity constraint



Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: NFR via NTNU
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.: 214338
Frisch prosjekt: 4115 - The effect of DRG-based financing on hospital