PODCAST: The Income and Substitution Effects in Healthcare Finance

Important Economic Concepts to UNDERSTAND

Texas CEO Magazine 2016 Economic Forecast: Dallas - Texas ...

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

One of Their Applications Pertains to the Impact on Time Spent Working Vs. Time Spend on Leisure if a Healthcare Worker’s Pay is Changed.

DEFINITION: The INCOME EFFECT States That If a Worker’s Pay is Decreased, They Will Work More Hours to Maintain the Same Income. Conversely, If a Worker’s Pay is Increased, They Will Work Fewer Hours and Still Maintain the Same Income.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

A Real-World Example of the Income Effect is When Medicare Decreased Reimbursement for Echocardiograms and as a Result, Decreased Cardiologists’ Pay. Accordingly, Cardiology Practices Increased the Number of Patients They Saw Per Day to Make Up for the Lost Pay and Maintain Their Income.

The SUBSTITUTION EFFECT States That Work and Leisure Time Have OPPORTUNITY COSTS for Each Other.

If a Worker’s Pay Goes Up, then the Opportunity Cost for Leisure (i.e. Not Working) Also Goes Up and the Worker Will Work MORE, Not LESS. Conversely, If a Worker’s Pay Goes Down, then the Opportunity Cost for Leisure Goes Down and the Worker Will Work LESS, Not MORE.

Whether the Income or Substitution Effect Dominates Depends on the Person and the Situation.

THE POINT: In the World of Fee-for-Service Reimbursement, a Decrease in Doctor Pay Per Service May Result in Doctors Providing More Services In Order to Maintain Their Income… Nullifying Any Cost-Savings.

PODCAST: The Income and Substitution Effects Are Important Economic Concepts to Understand in Healthcare Finance.

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