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The effect of physician supply on the mix of generalist and specialist services used

TitleThe effect of physician supply on the mix of generalist and specialist services used
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMcLeod, L.
JournalMcMaster Research Data Centre Research Paper
Keywordsasthma, count data models, diabetes, general practitioner utilisation, generalized linear model, horizontal inequity, linked administration-health data, physician utilization, specialist utilisation
Abstract

Variations in physician supply and how this impacts a patient's access and use of physician services remains a concern for many health care systems. This paper asks how the supply of physicians affects both the number of visits and the dollar value of services received from GPs and specialists? Results indicate the supply effect shows a 10% increase in GP supply is associated with an increase in GP use (from 0.9% to 1.2%) and a decrease in the use of specialist (from 1.0% to 1.3%). An increase in specialist supply of 15% is associated with a decrease in the use of GPs (from 0.6% to 0.8%) and an increase in the use of specialists (2.1%). The results suggest that unless patients face an absolute dearth of physicians, concerns about variations in physician supply are mitigated, as patients tend to substitute one physician type for the other.

URLhttp://socserv.mcmaster.ca/rdc/wpabs
Document URLhttp://socserv.mcmaster.ca/rdc/rdcwp21.pdf