How much do patients' preferences contribute to resource use?

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Utilization Review / statistics & numerical data