Hospital Competition in the National Health Service: Evidence from a Patient Choice Reform
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- Discussion papers (SAM) 
We study the impact of exposing hospitals in a National Health Service (NHS) to non-price competition by exploiting a patient choice reform in Norway in 2001. The reform facilitates a difference-in-difference research design due to geographical variation in the scope for competition. Using rich administrative data covering the universe of NHS hospital admissions from 1998 to 2005, we find that hospitals in more competitive areas have a sharper reduction in AMI mortality, readmissions, and length of stay than hospitals in less competitive areas. These results indicate that competition improves patient health outcomes and hospital cost efficiency, even in the Norwegian NHS with large distances, low fixed treatment prices, and mainly public hospitals.