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Does Seeing the Doctor More Often Keep You Out of the Hospital?

  • Robert Kaestner
  • Anthony T. Lo Sasso

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 2.7% 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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18255.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18255.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Publication status: published as 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:nbr:nberwo:18255
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  1. 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, 03.
  2. Jeffrey Clemens & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2012. "Do Physicians' Financial Incentives Affect Medical Treatment and Patient Health?," Discussion Papers 11-017, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 223-55, March-Apr.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 251-77, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael Anderson & Carlos Dobkin & Tal Gross, 2010. "The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on the Use of Medical Services," NBER Working Papers 15823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Miller, Sarah, 2012. "The effect of insurance on emergency room visits: An analysis of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 893-908.
  10. Chandra, Amitabh & Gruber, Jonathan & McKnight, Robin, 2009. "Patient Cost-Sharing and Hospitalization Offsets in the Elderly," Scholarly Articles 8058412, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  11. 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.
  12. Anthony T. Lo Sasso & Lorens A. Helmchen & Robert Kaestner, 2010. "The Effects of Consumer-Directed Health Plans on Health Care Spending," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 85-103.
  13. 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.
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