IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An extension in eligibility for free primary care and avoidable hospitalisations: A natural experiment

  • Nolan, Anne

In the Republic of Ireland, approximately 30 per cent of the population (‘medical card patients’) are entitled to free GP services. Eligibility is determined primarily on the basis of an income means test. The remaining 70 per cent of the population (‘private patients’) must pay the full cost of GP consultations. In July 2001, eligibility for a medical card was extended to all those over 70 years of age, regardless of income. This extension in eligibility provides a natural experiment whereby we can examine the influence of access to free GP services on avoidable hospitalisations. Avoidable hospitalisations are those that are potentially avoidable with timely and effective access to primary care services or that can be treated more appropriately in a primary care setting. Using hospital discharge data for the period 1999–2004, the purpose of this paper is to test the proposition that enhanced access to GP services for the over 70s after July 2001 led to a decline in avoidable hospitalisations among this group. The results indicate that while avoidable hospitalisations for the over 70s did decline after 2001, they also fell for the under 70s, meaning that a significant difference-in-difference effect could not be identified.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953611004254
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 978-985

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:7:p:978-985
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Richard Layte, 2007. "Equity in the Utilisation of Hospital Inpatient Services in Ireland? An Improved Approach to the Measurement of Health Need," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 191-210.
  2. Chiappori, P.A. & Durand, F. & Geoffard, P.Y., 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Demand for Physician Services: First Lessons from a French Natural Experiment," DELTA Working Papers 98-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Sergi Jiménez-Mart�n & José M. Labeaga & Maite Mart�nez-Granado, 2002. "Latent class versus two-part models in the demand for physician services across the European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 301-321.
  4. David Madden & Anne Nolan & Brian Nolan, 2005. "GP reimbursement and visiting behaviour in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 1047-1060.
  5. Nolan, Brian, 1991. "The Utilisation and Financing of Health Services in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS155.
  6. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
  7. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne & McGee, Hannah & O'Hanlon, Ann, 2009. "Do consultation charges deter general practitioner use among older people? A natural experiment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1432-1438, April.
  8. Nolan, Anne, 2008. "Evaluating the impact of eligibility for free care on the use of general practitioner (GP) services: A difference-in-difference matching approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1164-1172, October.
  9. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Brian, 2003. "Equity in the Utilization of Health Care in Ireland," Papers HRBWP02, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  10. Jacqueline O'Reilly & Miriam M. Wiley, 2008. "How Local is Hospital Treatment? An Exploratory Analysis of Public/Private Variation in Location of Treatment in Irish Acute Public Hospitals," Papers WP237, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Nolan, Brian, 1993. "Economic incentives, health status and health services utilisation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 151-169, July.
  12. 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.
  13. Tussing, A. Dale, 1985. "Irish Medical Care Resources: An Economic Analysis," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS126.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:7:p:978-985. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.