PRIMARY PHYSICIANS’ RESPONSE TO CHANGES IN FEES
Jostein Grytten, Fredrik Carlsen
og Irene Skau
The study examines how the service production of primary physicians
in Norway is
influenced by changes in fees. The data represent about 2 650 fee-for-service
physicians for the years 1995-2000. We constructed a variable that made
it possible to estimate income effects of fee changes on service levels.
Service production was measured by the number of consultations per physician,
the number of laboratory tests per consultation, and the proportion of
consultations lasting more than 20 minutes. Our main finding is that fee
changes have no income effect on service production. Our results imply
that fee regulation can be an effective means of controlling physicians’
income, and therefore government expenditure on primary physician services.