Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
One Medical Center Dr.
Institutional Affiliation: Dartmouth College
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2014||The Diffusion of New Medical Technology: The Case of Drug-Eluting Stents|
in Discoveries in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise, editor
There is considerable variation across hospitals and regions in the diffusion of new medical technologies. Before 2003, bare-metal stents were used by cardiologists seeking to perform revascularization for blockages in the heart. In April of 2003, the FDA approved the use of coated anti-proliferative but more expensive drug-eluting stents, designed to reduce re-narrowing of the artery at the location of the original stent. Adoption was rapid but uneven; in the year following their introduction, drug-eluting stents comprised 83% of total stents among Medicare enrollees in the top quintile of hospitals, but just 33% in the low quintile hospitals. We used the Medicare claims data to test several models of diffusion, and found empirical support for models of expertise (better quality hospitals...