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Does seeing the doctor more often keep you out of the hospital?

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  • Kaestner, Robert
  • Sasso, Anthony T. Lo

Abstract

By exploiting a unique health insurance benefit design, we provide novel evidence on the causal association between outpatient and inpatient care. Our results indicate that greater outpatient spending was associated with more hospital admissions: a $100 increase in outpatient spending was associated with a 1.9% increase in the probability of having an inpatient event and a 4.6% increase in inpatient spending among enrollees in our sample. Moreover, we present evidence that the increase in hospital admissions associated with greater outpatient spending was for conditions in which it is plausible to argue that the physician and patient could exercise discretion.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaestner, Robert & Sasso, Anthony T. Lo, 2015. "Does seeing the doctor more often keep you out of the hospital?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 259-272.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:39:y:2015:i:c:p:259-272
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.08.003
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    10. Miller, Sarah, 2012. "The effect of insurance on emergency room visits: An analysis of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 893-908.
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    Cited by:

    1. Toshiaki Iizuka & Hitoshi Shigeoka, 2018. "Free for Children? Patient Cost-sharing and Healthcare Utilization," NBER Working Papers 25306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Péter Elek & Tamás Molnár & Balázs Váradi, 2019. "The closer the better: does better access to outpatient care prevent hospitalization?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(6), pages 801-817, August.
    3. Yuanyuan Ma & Anne Nolan, 2017. "Public Healthcare Entitlements and Healthcare Utilisation among the Older Population in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(11), pages 1412-1428, November.
    4. L. F. Andrade & T. Rapp & C. Sevilla-Dedieu, 2018. "Quality of diabetes follow-up care and hospital admissions," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 153-167, June.
    5. Walsh, Brendan & Nolan, Anne & Brick, Aoife & Keegan, Conor, 2019. "Did the expansion of free GP care impact demand for Emergency Department attendances? A difference-in-differences analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 101-111.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    High deductible health insurance; Consumer-driven health insurance; Inpatient care; Outpatient care; Health reimbursement arrangement; Health insurance plan design;

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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