The supply response to hospital emergency department waiting times

The supply response to hospital emergency department waiting times

Photo courtesy of Cecilia Stembom

The supply response to hospital emergency department waiting times

Join Associate Professor Peter Sivey from RMIT University on October 12th, 2017 for his presentation on the supply response to hospital emergency waiting times.

About the Seminar

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) ration access to care under excess demand using a combination of prioritisation mechanisms and waiting times. Waiting times reduce demand for care by increasing the opportunity cost to patients of seeking treatment, leading to a downwards-sloping demand curve. 

However increased waiting times may also provide incentives to providers to increase the quantity or speed of treatments. 

We test for the existence of an upwards sloping supply curve in Victorian hospital EDs by exploiting unit-record patient data aggregated to the hospital/day level to estimate panel data models of the relationship between presentations per day, waiting times, and the average ‘treatment time’ for each patient. Our rich data will allow us to account for changes over time in the characteristics of patients including diagnosis, triage category, mode of arrival, and demographics. Our models allow us to take account of unobserved heterogeneity at the hospital level and isolate variation in waiting times caused by shocks to the number of presentations. 

Preliminary results indicate a substantial waiting time elasticity of supply: hospitals treat patients more quickly when waiting times are high.


DateOctober 12, 2017
Time11:00am - 12pm (morning tea served at 10:40am)
VenueTheatre 102, Macquarie Graduate School of Management
ParkingParking is available on site
RSVPBy 5pm October 10, 2017

About Associate Professor Sivey

Peter Sivey is an Associate Professor at the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and an honorary Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne. He has previously held positions at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University. Peter has a PhD in Economics (2009) from the University of York, UK.

Peter's research interests centre on the economics of healthcare markets. He is working on research projects including hospital waiting times, hospital competition, doctor pricing and market entry. His wider research interests include multinomial choice models, microeconometrics, and microeconomic theory applied to healthcare markets. He has published papers in the Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics and the Journal of Industrial Economics, alongside contributions in health policy and medical journals. Peter also contributes regularly to the health policy debate via The Conversation.

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