Provider Retention in High Need Areas. Economic Model of Location Choices with Application to NHSC Programs


The retention patterns we observed in Figures III.1 and III.2 appear to indicate that participants have lower HPSA retention than non-participants. There may be a suite of factors in addition to NHSC participation that influence the providers’ decisions to first locate in a HPSA and then move out of a HPSA. In this chapter we provide a theoretical model to provide insights into the impact of these additional factors on the observed retention patterns.

Specifically, in this model we aim to: (i) isolate the key factors influencing providers’ location decisions; (ii) explain why some providers locate in areas that others avoid; and (iii) explain when geographic mobility is high or low. We start with a general location choice model and then expand the model to incorporate the incentives offered by the NHSC programs. A technical version of this model is available in Appendix B.

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