Variations in the use of physician services by Medicare beneficiaries.
Date of Pub
Variations in the utilization of physicians' services by Medicare enrollees in Michigan are examined in this article. Two
measures of market-area utilization are estimated. One is the standard per capita utilization rate, which has been the common
focus of many small area variation studies. The second measures the intensity with which physicians treat their patients and
can be taken as an indicator of the so-called practice-style phenomenon. The results show that, although substantial intermarket
variation in per capita utilization is found, the variations are not as large as one might expect and are considerably less
than the variations in per capita utilization for Michigan's Blue Shield population. More important, the relationship between
a market's per capita utilization and intensity of care of primary care physicians is insignificant. The relevance of these
findings, especially within the context of the practice style hypothesis and policy proposals that would establish physician
practice norms, are discussed.
Physician's Practice Patterns : Blue Shield/utilization : Comparative Study : Data Collection : Health Services Accessibility
: Insurance, Physician Services/utilization : Medicare/utilization : Michigan : Personal Health Services/utilization : Regression
Analysis : Statistics : Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.