Subjective and objective quality and choice of hospital: Evidence from maternal care services in Germany

from Journal of Health Economics at on August 30, 2019 at 10:15AM

Publication date: Available online 29 August 2019

Source: Journal of Health Economics

Author(s): Daniel Avdic, Giuseppe Moscelli, Adam Pilny, Ieva Sriubaite


We study patient choice of healthcare provider based on both objective and subjective quality measures in the context of maternal care hospital services in Germany. Objective measures are obtained from publicly reported clinical indicators, while subjective measures are based on satisfaction scores from a large and nationwide patient survey. We merge both quality metrics to detailed hospital discharge records and quantify the additional distance expectant mothers are willing to travel to give birth in maternity clinics with higher reported quality. Our results reveal that patients are on average willing to travel 0.1–2.7 additional kilometers for a one standard deviation increase in quality. Patients respond to both objective and subjective quality measures, suggesting that patient satisfaction scores may constitute important complements to clinical indicators when choosing provider.