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

Author

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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-277, June.
    2. McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Physician agency," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 461-536 Elsevier.
    3. Jeffrey Clemens & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2014. "Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Medical Treatment and Patient Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1320-1349, April.
    4. Kolstad, Jonathan T. & Kowalski, Amanda E., 2012. "The impact of health care reform on hospital and preventive care: Evidence from Massachusetts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 909-929.
    5. Kaestner, R. & Joyce, T. & Racine, A., 2001. "Medicaid eligibility and the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations for children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 305-313, January.
    6. Michael Anderson & Carlos Dobkin & Tal Gross, 2012. "The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on the Use of Medical Services," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, February.
    7. Amy Finkelstein & Sarah Taubman & Bill Wright & Mira Bernstein & Jonathan Gruber & Joseph P. Newhouse & Heidi Allen & Katherine Baicker, 2012. "The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1057-1106.
    8. Robert Kaestner & Nasreen Khan, 2012. "Medicare Part D and Its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs and Use of Other Health Care Services of the Elderly," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 253-279, March.
    9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    10. Anthony T. Lo Sasso & Lorens A. Helmchen & Robert Kaestner, 2010. "The Effects of Consumer‚ÄźDirected Health Plans on Health Care Spending," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 85-103, March.
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    12. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Gruber & Robin McKnight, 2010. "Patient Cost-Sharing and Hospitalization Offsets in the Elderly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 193-213, March.
    13. Dafny, Leemore & Gruber, Jonathan, 2005. "Public insurance and child hospitalizations: access and efficiency effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 109-129, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:eujhec:v:20:y:2019:i:6:d:10.1007_s10198-019-01043-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:ijhcfe:v:18:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10754-017-9230-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:socmed:v:222:y:2019:i:c:p:101-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Peter Elek & Tamas Molnar & Balazs Varadi, 2018. "The closer the better: does better access to outpatient care prevent hospitalization?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1808, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    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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