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How far to the hospital?: The effect of hospital closures on access to care

  • Buchmueller, Thomas C.
  • Jacobson, Mireille
  • Wold, Cheryl

Do urban hospital closures affect health care access or health outcomes? We study closures in Los Angeles County between 1997 and 2003, through their effect on distance to the nearest hospital. We find that increased distance to the nearest hospital shifts regular care away from emergency rooms and outpatient clinics to doctor's offices. While most residents are otherwise unaffected by closures, lower-income residents report more difficulty accessing care, working age residents are less likely to receive HIV tests, and seniors less likely to receive flu shots. We also find some evidence that increased distance raises infant mortality rates and stronger evidence that it increases deaths from unintentional injuries and heart attacks.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 740-761

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:25:y:2006:i:4:p:740-761
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  3. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Mireille Jacobson & Cheryl Wold, 2004. "How Far to the Hospital? The Effect of Hospital Closures on Access to Care," NBER Working Papers 10700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  5. Lindrooth, Richard C. & Lo Sasso, Anthony T. & Bazzoli, Gloria J., 2003. "The effect of urban hospital closure on markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 691-712, September.
  6. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  7. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Janet Currie & Patricia B. Reagan, 2003. "Distance to Hospital and Children's Use of Preventive Care: Is Being Closer Better, and for Whom?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 378-391, July.
  9. Gabor Kezdi, 2005. "Robus Standard Error Estimation in Fixed-Effects Panel Models," Econometrics 0508018, EconWPA.
  10. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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