More Evidence on the Quality-Quantity Trade-off in Medical Care
This paper investigates the impact of the regulation prohibiting physicians from prescribing drugs without a prior physical examination on health outcomes. This requirement should improve health by reducing illegal access to prescription drugs. On the other hand, it hampers the practice of physician-patient telemedicine, a service evaluated by most previous studies to be of somewhat lower quality but effective in improving access to care. The empirical results suggest that this regulation leads to an increase of approximately 0.2 in the expected monthly number of days lost to illness and 0.4 percent increase in mortality rates the equivalent of 33 more deaths per 1 million people. The magnitude of the impact is larger in rural areas, and in areas with low physician density.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2009|
|Date of revision:||Mar 2010|
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