Next Article in Journal
Flèche versus Lunge as the Optimal Footwork Technique in Fencing
Previous Article in Journal
Perceptions of Nature and Access to Green Space in Four Urban Neighborhoods
Previous Article in Special Issue
Public Perception on Healthcare Services: Evidence from Social Media Platforms in China
Open AccessArticle

Identification of the Differential Effect of City-Level on the Gini Coefficient of Health Service Delivery in Online Health Community

1
School of Economics and Management, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing 400065, China
2
Department of Statistics, Eberly College of Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
3
College of International Finance and Trade, Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages, Shaoxing 312000, China
4
College of International Business, Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages, Shaoxing 312000, China
5
School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
6
Big Data Research Center, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132314
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 29 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytics in Digital Health)
Inequality of health services for different specialty categories not only occurs in different areas in the world, but also happens in the online service platform. In the online health community (OHC), health services often display inequality for different specialty categories, including both online views and medical consultations for offline registered services. Moreover, how the city-level factors impact the inequality of health services in OHC is still unknown. We designed a causal inference study with data on distributions of serviced patients and online views in over 100 distinct specialty categories on one of the largest OHCs in China. To derive the causal effect of the city-levels (two levels inducing 1 and 0) on the Gini coefficient, we matched the focus cases in cities with rich healthcare resources with the potential control cities. For each of the specialty categories, we first estimated the average treatment effect of the specialty category’s Gini coefficient (SCGini) with the balanced covariates. For the Gini coefficient of online views, the average treatment effect of level-1 cities is 0.573, which is 0.016 higher than that of the matched group. Similarly, for the Gini coefficient of serviced patients, the average treatment effect of level-1 cities is 0.470, which is 0.029 higher than that of the matched group. The results support the argument that the total Gini coefficient of the doctors in OHCs shows that the inequality in health services is still very serious. This study contributes to the development of a theoretically grounded understanding of the causal effect of city-level factors on the inequality of health services in an online to offline health service setting. In the future, heterogeneous results should be considered for distinct groups of doctors who provide different combinations of online contributions and online attendance. View Full-Text
Keywords: inequality; health service; causality; medical specialty; consultation inequality; health service; causality; medical specialty; consultation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, H.-Y.; Chen, J.-J.; Wang, J.-N.; Chiu, Y.-L.; Qiu, H.; Wang, L.-Y. Identification of the Differential Effect of City-Level on the Gini Coefficient of Health Service Delivery in Online Health Community. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2314.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
Back to TopTop