Authors:Petra Baji, Milena Pavlova, László Gulácsi, and Wim Groot
In 2010, a household survey was carried out in Hungary among 1037 respondents to study consumer preferences and willingness to pay for health care services. In this paper, we use the data from the discrete choice experiments included in the survey, to elicit the preferences of health care consumers about the choice of health care providers. Regression analysis is used to estimate the effect of the improvement of service attributes (quality, access, and price) on patients’ choice, as well as the differences among the socio-demographic groups. We also estimate the marginal willingness to pay for the improvement in attribute levels by calculating marginal rates of substitution. The results show that respondents from a village or the capital, with low education and bad health status are more driven by the changes in the price attribute when choosing between health care providers. Respondents value the good skills and reputation of the physician and the attitude of the personnel most, followed by modern equipment and maintenance of the office/hospital. Access attributes (travelling and waiting time) are less important. The method of discrete choice experiment is useful to reveal patients’ preferences, and might support the development of an evidence-based and sustainable health policy on patient payments.