The Effect of Publicized Quality Information on Home Health Agency Choiceedit
We examine consumers’ use of publicized quality information in Medicare home health care markets, where consumer cost sharing and travel costs are absent. We report two findings. First, agencies with high quality scores are more likely to be preferred by consumers after the introduction of a public reporting program than before. Second, consumers’ use of publicized quality information differs by patient group. Community-based patients have slightly larger responses to public reporting than hospital-discharged patients. Patients with functional limitations at the start of their care, at least among hospital-discharged patients, have a larger response to the reported functional outcome measure than those without functional limitations. In all cases of significant marginal effects, magnitudes are small. We conclude that the current public reporting approach is unlikely to have critical impacts on home health agency choice. Identifying and releasing quality information that is meaningful to consumers may help increase consumers’ use of public reports.