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Copayments for doctor visits in Germany and the probability of visiting a physician - Evidence from a natural experiment

  • Farbmacher, Helmut

The German health care reform of 2004 imposes a charge of 10 Euro for the first visit to a doctor in each quarter of the year. At first glance, there is no inhibiting effect of this fee on utilization in the German Socio-Economic Panel. However, this study reveals that the true effect is diluted by a special characteristic of the fee. Exploiting random variation in the interview date, this study finds a substantial effect of the new fee on the probability of visiting a physician. In addition, the identification strategy makes it possible to disentangle this effect from the influence of the contemporaneous increase of copayments for prescription drugs.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 10951.

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Date of creation: 11 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:10951
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  1. Augurzky, Boris & Bauer, Thomas K. & Schaffner, Sandra, 2006. "Copayments in the German Health System - Do They Work?," RWI Discussion Papers 43, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  2. Schreyögg, Jonas & Grabka, Markus M., 2010. "Copayments for Ambulatory Care in Germany: A Natural Experiment Using a Difference-in-Difference Approach," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 331-341.
  3. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits - An Econometric Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 3021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. repec:rwi:dpaper:0043 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  6. Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Co-payments for prescription drugs and the demand for doctor visits - Evidence from a natural experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(11), pages 1081-1089.
  7. Carine Van De Voorde & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Erik Schokkaert, 2001. "Effects of cost sharing on physician utilization under favourable conditions for supplier-induced demand," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 457-471.
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