Competition between HMO and PPO: A Two-Sided Market Approach
We set-up a two-sided market framework to model competition between a Prefered Provider Organization (PPO) and a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Both health plans compete to attract policyholderson one side and providers on the other side. The PPO, which is characterized by a higher diversity of providers, attracts riskier policyholders. Our two-sided framework allows to examine the consequences of this risk segmentation on the providers’ side, especially in terms of remuneration. The outcome of competition mainly depends on two effects: a demand effect, influenced by the value put by policyholders on providers access and an adverse selection effect, captured by the characteristics of the health risk distribution. If the adverse selection effect is too strong, the HMO gets a higher profit in equilibrium. On the contrary, if the demand effect dominates, the PPO profit is higher in spite of the unfavorable risk segmentation. We believe that our model, by highlighting the two-sided market structure of the health plans’ competition, provides new insights to understand the increase in the PPOs’ market share observed during the last decade in the US.
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