How Much Uncompensated Care do Doctors Provide?
AbstractThe magnitude of provider uncompensated care has become an important public policy issue. Yet existing measures of uncompensated care are flawed because they compare uninsured payments to list prices, not to the prices actually paid by the insured. We address this issue using a novel source of data from a vendor that processes financial data for almost 4000 physicians. We measure uncompensated care as the net amount that physicians lose by lower payments from the uninsured than from the insured. Our best estimate is that physicians provide negative uncompensated care to the uninsured, earning more on uninsured patients than on insured patients with comparable treatments. Even our most conservative estimates suggest that uncompensated care amounts to only 0.8% of revenues, or at most $3.2 billion nationally. These results highlight the important distinction between charges and payments, and point to the need for a re-definition of uncompensated care in the health sector going forward.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13585.
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Gruber, Jonathan & Rodriguez, David, 2007. "How much uncompensated care do doctors provide?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1151-1169, December.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- David Ong & Chun-Lei Yang, 2014. "Pro Bono Work and Trust in Expert Fields," CESifo Working Paper Series 4897, CESifo Group Munich.
- Xuezheng Qin & Gordon Liu, 2013. "Does the US health care safety net discourage private insurance coverage?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 457-469, June.
- Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2014.
"Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010,"
Working Papers, Towson University, Department of Economics
2014-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2014.
- Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2011. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Working Papers 201102, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
- Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2010. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Discussion Papers, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales 2010-31, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
- Chung Tran & Juergen Jung, 2011. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-539, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
- Jonathan Gruber & Helen Levy, 2009. "The Evolution of Medical Spending Risk," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 25-48, Fall.
- Neale Mahoney, 2012. "Bankruptcy as Implicit Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 18105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 571-606, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.