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Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 May-Jun;28(3):864-73. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.3.864.

How much do patients' preferences contribute to resource use?

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  • 1Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.

Erratum in

  • Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Jul-Aug;28(4):1233.


Regional variation in health care use may stem, in part, from the fact that patients in high-utilization regions demand and receive more-intensive care. We examine the association between patients' care-seeking preferences and use of services, using a national survey of Medicare patients. Patients' preferences, in addition to health and sociodemographic characteristics, are associated with differences in individuals' use of office visits. However, we find that patients' preferences for seeking primary and specialty medical care do not play a significant role in explaining regional variation in health care use.

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