Regional variation in GP supply and its consequences for inpatient service utilisation
Population decline in Germany goes hand in hand with the shrinking supply of medical care, especially in rural areas. While the threat of undersupplied medical care in rural areas is well documented in the literature, little is known about the consequences of the undersupply of outpatient care for the utilisation of inpatient care. As such, the undersupply of outpatient medical care in rural areas can lead to higher utilisation of inpatient care due to both substitution effects and the disastrous health consequences if medical care is not received frequently or quickly enough.
This project analyses regional variation in the supply of general practitioners (GPs) and its consequences for inpatient service utilisation. The aim of this project is to provide evidence on the effect of the market concentration of general and medical practitioners on the individual frequency of hospitalisation.
The results of this project will contribute to the existing literature, as the effect of GP supply on inpatient service utilisation has not been analysed so far in Germany. Moreover, the results would have high political relevance, as they will contribute to the ongoing public debate on incentives for general and medical practitioners to settle in rural regions.