We examine the effects of diverse dimensions of hospital quality - including consumers' perceptions of unobserved attributes - on future hospital choice. We utilize consumers' stated preference weights to obtain hospital-specific estimates of perceptions about unmeasured attributes such as reputation. We report three findings. First, consumers' perceptions of reputation and medical services contribute substantially to utility for a hospital choice. Second, consumers tend to select hospitals with high clinical quality scores even before the scores are publicized. However, the effect of clinical quality on hospital choice is relatively small. Third, satisfaction with a prior hospital admission has a large impact on future hospital choice. Our findings suggest that including measures of consumers' experience in report cards may increase their responsiveness to publicized information, but other strategies are needed to overcome the large effects of consumers' beliefs about other quality attributes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health