hche Research Paper, Hamburg Center for Health Economics 2011/03
This paper analyzes the impact of type of insurance, income, and reason for appointment on waiting time for an appointment and waiting time in the physician's practice in the outpatient sector. Data were obtained from a German patient survey conducted between 2007 and 2009. We differentiated between GP and specialist and controlled for socioeconomic, structural, and institutional characteristics as well as interactions between type of insurance and control variables. Our results reveal that private health insurance plays a significant role in faster access to care at GP and specialist practices. Access to care is also highly influenced by the reason for an appointment. We also found that increased income had a negative effect on waiting time in practices and on waiting time for an appointment in GP practices. Whether inequalities in access to health care also impact overall quality of treatment needs to be investigated in future research.
Access to care outpatient care private health insurance public health insurance waiting times