PACIS 2020 Proceedings


For online healthcare businesses with a multi-tier pricing model, how to motivate patients to pay for high-end services is an important issue. Drawing on the freemium literature and the valence framework, we examined seven service quality-related antecedents of patients’ intentions to upgrade to premium services in the context of online healthcare consultation (OHC). We hypothesized that patients’ perceptions of OHC platform quality, free OHC service quality, and free OHC adoption risks should exert counterbalanced, direct impacts on their intentions to upgrade to premium services. Furthermore, the net outcome of this dual effect may be contingent on patients’ trust in the platform. We conducted an empirical study by surveying 409 OHC consumers in China. Preliminary results support the direct effects of platform- and service-related evaluations for both their benefits and risks. The moderating analysis supports the effect of trust on mitigating the negative impacts of risk perceptions on upgrading intentions.



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