Upon German reunification, the East German states adopted the West German health insurance system, although some special provisions applied. Most notably, the official scale of fees for private health insurance companies imposed a discount of 55% on the fees resident physicians could charge for all medical services for privately insured patients in East Germany. Between 1991 and 2002, this “East Discount” was gradually reduced to 10% and then completely abolished in 2007. The resulting variation in medical fees over time and space provides an ideal laboratory to study several pressing questions concerning the German health care system: How do financial incentives affect physicians’ location decisions? And how are health outcomes affected?
In addition, we also analyse how the repeal of the “East Discount” has affected the demand for medical assistance work and wage determination. Here, our main focus is on the distribution of the increased revenues after the end of the East discount between resident doctors and their employees.
01.04.2020 - 31.03.2023