Assessing the Impact of Payment Method and Practice Setting on German Physicians' Practice Patterns

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This project determined the impact that a physician's practice setting and reimbursement method has on his or her practice behavior. Multivariate regressions that controlled for physician, patient, and practice characteristics were conducted. The primary data source was a questionnaire that sampled ambulatory physicians practicing in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. This research demonstrated that physicians paid on a fee-for-service basis differ significantly from practitioners paid a salary in captured utilization measures: more patient visits per week, including more follow-up visits; a decreased rate of hospitalization; and an increased likelihood of making house calls. A group practice setting demonstrated little impact when compared with a solo practice.

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