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Does Cost Sharing Affect the Quality of Pharmaceutical Care for the Elderly?

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  • Gemmill-Toyama M
  • Costa-Font J
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    Abstract

    This paper examines whether cost sharing for prescription drugs improves medication-related quality measured by the probability of inappropriate prescription drug use among US seniors. Using data from 1996 to 2005, we explore various specifications that correct for sample selection, endogeneity¸ and unobserved heterogeneity. We find that user fees reduce the use of potentially inappropriate medications, implying that cost sharing has a positive effect on this aspect of quality. However, the price elasticity is relatively close to zero, suggesting that any quality improvements from co-payments are small. The income elasticity findings also indicate that medication-related quality is a normal good.

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    File URL: http://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/herc/wp/09_04.pdf
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    Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 09/04.

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    Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/04

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    Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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    1. Gabriel A. Picone & Frank A. Sloan & Shin-Yi Chou & Donald H. Taylor, 2003. "Does Higher Hospital Cost Imply Higher Quality of Care?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 51-62, February.
    2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    3. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
    4. Michael Grossman, 1999. "The Human Capital Model of the Demand for Health," NBER Working Papers 7078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    6. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
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