Do mergers benefit patients in underperforming administrations? Lessons from area health service amalgamation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Economic Record, 2014, 90 (291), pp. 526 - 535
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2014 Economic Society of Australia. Evidence supporting the effects of mergers in healthcare markets on quality is mixed. In this study we exploit a government policy in NSW that imposed mergers on area health services (AHSs) to evaluate the effects of the merger on patient waiting times, an indicator of quality. We focus on the specific question of whether the merger had a larger impact on worse-performing AHSs. Our results show heterogeneous impacts, reducing waiting times for relatively urgent public patients but further delaying non-urgent patients. In addition, we find the merger reduced the waiting time gap between public and private patients.
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