An exploratory study of utilization fees in the Swift Current Health Region
Marshall, William Laverne
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This is an exploratory study to investigate the influence utilization fees exert on physician behavior. The research hypothesis was "Physicians uniformly charge utilization fees to all patients when the Saskatchewan Medical Care Insurance Program provides them with the opportunity to make such charges". The study surveyed 34.3 per cent of all physicians in private practice in the Swift Current Health Region where utilization fees have beeen in existance since 1953. Swift Current Regional physicians recorded certain sociodemographic patient and physician characteristics as well as utilization fee information on each patient visit over a one week period. Some of the findings were: physicians in the city of Swift Current were charging more patients than physicians practicing elsewhere in the Health Region; and all patients were not charged approximately one out of every three patient visits could have been charged a utilizaiton fee but were not.