Over-utilization of cesarean sections and misclassification error
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This paper develops a model for defining Cesarean sections’ over- and under-utilization as deviations from clinically appropriate treatment due to non-clinical factors. Physician decisions can be affected by both monetary and non-monetary incentives, and the perception of the patient’s medical information and preferences. This structural model elucidates the physician decision-making process and identifies and tests for the degree of deviation from appropriate treatment (over- and under-utilization). The model is applied to estimate over-utilization of Cesarean section deliveries performed in the state of New Jersey during the 1999–2002 period. Non-clinically appropriate Cesarean sections occur at a moderate but growing rate of roughly 3.2 %. The growth of the Cesarean section rate in New Jersey over these years was explained mainly by non-clinical factors.
KeywordsHealthcare utilization Misclassification model Cesarean section Physician incentives
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