Does performance disclosure influence physicians’ medical decisions? An experimental study*
HERO WP 2014/04: Authors: Geir Godager, University of Oslo, Heike Hennig-Schmidt University of Bonn and University of Oslo, Tor Iversen, University of Oslo.
Quality improvements in markets for medical care are key objectives in any Health reform. An important question is whether disclosing physicians’ performance can contribute to achieving these goals. Due to the asymmetric information inherent in medical markets, one may argue that changes in the information structure are likely to influence the environment in which health care providers operate. In a Laboratory experiment with medical students that mimics a physician decision-making environment we analyze the effect of disclosing performance information to peers.
We find that making performance transparent has a positive impact in that significantly higher total patient benefits are generated than under a regime where physician performance is private information. Also, significantly more patients receive benefit-maximizing treatment. We discuss policy implications of our findings.