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The Impact of Health Insurance Expansion on Physician Treatment Choice: Medicare Part D and Physician Prescribing

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  • Tianyan Hu
  • Sandra L. Decker
  • Shin-Yi Chou

Abstract

We test the effect of the introduction of Medicare Part D on physician prescribing behavior by using data on physician visits from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) 2002-2004 and 2006-2009 for patients aged 60-69. We use a combined DD-RD specification that is an improvement over either the difference-in-difference (DD) or regression discontinuity (RD) designs. Comparing the discrete jump in outcomes at age 65 before and after 2006, we find a 35% increase in the number of prescription drugs prescribed or continued per visit and a 55% increase in the number of generic drugs prescribed or continued, providing evidence of physician response to changes in patient out-of-pocket costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tianyan Hu & Sandra L. Decker & Shin-Yi Chou, 2014. "The Impact of Health Insurance Expansion on Physician Treatment Choice: Medicare Part D and Physician Prescribing," NBER Working Papers 20708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20708
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kuhn, Michael & Frankovic, Ivan & Wrzaczek, Stefan, 2017. "Medical Progress, Demand for Health Care, and Economic Performance," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168249, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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