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How Do Providers Respond to Changes in Public Health Insurance Coverage? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits

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  • Thomas Buchmueller
  • Sarah Miller
  • Marko Vujicic

Abstract

This study evaluates how large changes in public health insurance coverage affect provider behavior and patient wait times by analyzing a common type of primary care: dental services. When states expand coverage of dental services to adult Medicaid beneficiaries, dentists' participation in Medicaid increases and dentists see more publicly insured patients. Dentists supply more visits but only modestly increase the amount of time spent working. They achieve this in part by making greater use of dental hygienists. Wait times increase modestly, with the largest increases in wait times observed in states with restrictive scope of practice laws governing dental hygienists.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Buchmueller & Sarah Miller & Marko Vujicic, 2016. "How Do Providers Respond to Changes in Public Health Insurance Coverage? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 70-102, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:70-102 Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wing, Coady & Marier, Allison, 2014. "Effects of occupational regulations on the cost of dental services: Evidence from dental insurance claims," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 131-143.
    2. Laurence Baker & Anne Beeson Royalty, "undated". "Medicaid Policy, Physician Behavior, and Health Care for the Low-Income Population," Working Papers 97003, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    3. Laurence C. Baker & Anne Beeson Royalty, 2000. "Medicaid Policy, Physician Behavior, and Health Care for the Low-Income Population," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 480-502.
    4. Choi, Moonkyung Kate, 2011. "The impact of Medicaid insurance coverage on dental service use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1020-1031.
    5. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Sarah Miller & Marko Vujicic, 2014. "How Do Providers Respond to Public Health Insurance Expansions? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits," NBER Working Papers 20053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 414-427.
    7. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Sean Orzol & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2015. "The Effect of Medicaid Payment Rates on Access to Dental Care among Children," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 194-223, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Ioana Popovici & Elisheva Stern, 2015. "Health Insurance Expansions and Provider Behavior: Evidence from Substance Use Disorder Providers," DETU Working Papers 1510, Department of Economics, Temple University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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