David E. Wennberg

Geisel School of Medicine
35 Centerra Parkway

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013Physician Beliefs and Patient Preferences: A New Look at Regional Variation in Health Care Spending
with David Cutler, Jonathan Skinner, Ariel Dora Stern: w19320
There is considerable controversy about the causes of regional variations in health care expenditures. Using vignettes from patient and physician surveys linked to fee-for-service Medicare expenditures, this study asks whether patient demand-side factors or physician supply-side factors explain these variations. The results indicate that patient demand is relatively unimportant in explaining variations. Physician organizational factors matter, but the most important factor is physician beliefs about treatment. In Medicare, we estimate that 35 percent of spending for end-of-life care, and 12 percent of spending for heart attack patients (and for all enrollees) is associated with physician beliefs unsupported by clinical evidence.

Published: David Cutler & Jonathan S. Skinner & Ariel Dora Stern & David Wennberg, 2019. "Physician Beliefs and Patient Preferences: A New Look at Regional Variation in Health Care Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 11(1), pages 192-221. citation courtesy of

National Bureau of Economic Research
1050 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Twitter RSS

View Full Site: One timeAlways