Withholding Capacity from Strategic Patients
Common wisdom suggests that, everything else being equal, seeing patients sooner rather than later is preferable. In particular health outcomes improve with reduced delay and so does patient satisfaction. At the same time, if delay in access to care is reduced, patients may be more inclined not to show up for their appointments given that rescheduling will not result in excessive wait. We investigate how an outpatient care provider should manage capacity in the presence of such strategic behavior of patients. We find that under some circumstances, it is optimal for the service provider to withhold capacity from patients in order to elicit them to show up for their scheduled appointments.
Joint work with Yunchao Xu (NYU Stern) and Nan Liu (BC Carroll)