The Quality of Primary Care in Rural China: Evidence from Mystery Patients | Duke Kunshan University
The Quality of Primary Care in Rural China: Evidence from Mystery Patients
Speaker: 
Sean Sylvia

Assistant Professor, School of Economics at Renmin University of China

Nov 02nd 2016 12:00 to 13:00
Room 1087, Academic Building

Summary of Talk:

The Chinese government has embarked on large-scale reforms designed to improve access to quality healthcare in China’s rural areas. The success of many of these reforms are likely to depend critically on the quality of primary care provided by rural physicians. Currently, however, there is little objective evidence on the quality of care – or the determinants of the quality of care – provided through the rural health system. This talk will report the results of an experimental audit study involving 500 rural healthcare providers across 210 townships in three provinces designed to examine the quality of primary care provided in China’s rural areas. "Standardized patients" were recruited from local communities and trained to covertly and consistently present cases of common diseases to healthcare providers in village clinics, township health centers and county hospitals. Using data from more than 1,000 such interactions along with matching clinical vignettes, this study evaluates the quality of primary care provided by rural physicians as well as the so-called “know-do” gap between physician knowledge and practice. I further discuss the results from an embedded experiment testing the effects of de-linking drug sales from physician compensation, a central piece of current reforms, on primary care quality and drug prescription behavior.                

                 

Brief Biography:             

Sean Sylvia is an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics at Renmin University of China and affiliate of the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) at Stanford University. Sean’s research interests are in development economics, with a geographical concentration on China. His work has focused on the delivery of basic services in China’s rural areas and migrant communities. In recent and ongoing projects, he has studied the use of performance incentives in public service delivery, healthcare quality in rural areas, early childhood interventions, and the effects of migration on children. Sean received a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland in 2014.