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The Effectiveness of Health Screening

Author

Listed:
  • Franz Hackl
  • Martin Halla
  • Michael Hummer
  • Gerald J. Pruckner

Abstract

Using a matched insurant-general practitioner panel data set, we estimated the effect of a general health-screening program on individuals’ health status and health care cost. To account for selection into treatment, we used regional variations in the intensity of exposure to supply-determined screening recommendations as an instrumental variable. We found that screening participation substantially increased inpatient and outpatient health care costs for up to two years after treatment. In the medium term, we found cost savings in the outpatient sector, whereas in the long run, no statistically significant effects of screening on either health care cost component could be discerned. In summary, screening participation increases health care costs. Since we did not find any statistically significant effect of screening participation on insurants’ health status at any point in time, we do not recommend a general health-screening program. However, given that we found some evidence for cost-saving potentials for the sub-sample of younger insurants, we suggest more targeted screening programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Hackl & Martin Halla & Michael Hummer & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Health Screening," Economics working papers 2012-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2012_01
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    File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2012/wp1201.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Danzer, Natalia & Halla, Martin & Schneeweis, Nicole & Zweimüller, Martina, 2017. "Parental Leave, (In)formal Childcare and Long-term Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Kim, Hyuncheol Bryant & Lee, Suejin & Lim, Wilfredo, 2017. "Knowing Is Not Half the Battle: Impacts of the National Health Screening Program in Korea," IZA Discussion Papers 10650, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health screening; health care costs; sick leave; mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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