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Adoption of large-scale medical equipment: the impact of competition in the German inpatient sector

Dreger, Marie; Langhoff, Hauke; Henschke, Cornelia

The availability of large-scale medical equipment such as computed tomography (CT), magnet resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scanners has increased rapidly worldwide over the last decades. Among OECD countries, Germany ranks high according to the number of imaging technologies and their applications per inhabitant. In contrast to other countries, there is no active governmental planning of large-scale medical equipment. We therefore investigated whether and how the adoption and distribution of CT, MRI and PET scanners in the German inpatient sector is subject to competition. Using a linear-probability model, we additionally examined the impact of regional, hospital- and population-based factors. In summary, our results indicate that the adoption rate by hospital sites decreases with the number of other sites being already equipped with the respective device and their proximity. However, the effect presumably depends on the technologies’ stage within the diffusion process. No influence regarding the amount of state subsidies could be identified. Furthermore, hospital size and university status strongly affect the adoption.
Published in: The European journal of health economics, 10.1007/s10198-021-01395-w, Springer Nature