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“Do I really need to go to rehab? I’d say no, no, no.” Estimating Price Elasticities of Convalescent Care Programs

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Abstract

This study is the first to estimate the price elasticities of demand for both medical rehabilitation programs and treatment at health spas. In Germany, the Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) covers both forms of therapy if administered in authorized medical facilities on referral from a physician. While health resort stays are prescribed to recover from general symptoms of poor health and are preventive in character, medical rehabilitation implies recovering from a specific illness or accident. From 1997 onwards, the German government more than doubled the copayments for both types of health care services from DM 12 (e6.14) to DM 25 (e12.78) per day for those insured under the SHI. Using longitudinal microdata from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), this exogenous price variation allows us to study the causal effects on demand, since we have a sound control group available. The data suggest that pull-forward effects in 1996 accounted for up to one-fifth of the subsequent decrease in demand. Taking this anticipation effect into account, we show that the reform induced a decrease in total demand of about 20 percent. We estimate the price elasticity for rehabilitation programs that aim at preventing work incapacity to be about -0.15, whereas the elasticity for rehabilitation programs for recovery from work accidents lies around -0.30. In contrast, the price elasticity for treatment at health spas is elastic and lies between -1 and -2.5.

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  • Ziebarth N, 2009. "“Do I really need to go to rehab? I’d say no, no, no.” Estimating Price Elasticities of Convalescent Care Programs," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/27
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    Cited by:

    1. Herr, A. & Suppliet, M., 2011. "Co-Payment Exemptions and Reference Prices: an Empirical Study of Pharmaceutical Prices in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Pilny, Adam & Wübker, Ansgar & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Introducing risk adjustment and free health plan choice in employer-based health insurance: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 330-351.
    3. Suppliet, Moritz & Herr, Annika, 2016. "Cost-Sharing and Drug Pricing Strategies : Introducing Tiered Co-Payments in Reference Price Markets," Other publications TiSEM 4d692f0e-8577-4392-b413-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Sebastian Garmann, 2017. "The effect of a reduction in the opening hours of polling stations on turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 99-117, April.
    6. Christian Bünnings & Hendrik Schmitz & Harald Tauchmann & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2015. "How Health Plan Enrollees Value Prices Relative to Supplemental Benefits and Service Quality," Ruhr Economic Papers 0545, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Bunnings, C,; & Schmitz, H,; & Tauchmann, H,; & Ziebarth, N.R,;, 2015. "How Health Plan Enrollees Value Prices Relative to Supplemental Benefits and Service Quality," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    8. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2016. "Protecting working-age people with disabilities: experiences of four industrialized nations [Absicherung von Personen mit Erwerbsminderung: Erfahrungen aus vier Industrieländern]," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 367-386, December.
    9. Nicolas R. Ziebarth & Martin Karlsson, 2014. "The Effects Of Expanding The Generosity Of The Statutory Sickness Insurance System," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 208-230, March.
    10. Nicolas Ziebarth, 2014. "Assessing the effectiveness of health care cost containment measures: evidence from the market for rehabilitation care," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 41-67, March.
    11. Joshua D. Woodard & Jing Yi, 2020. "Estimation of Insurance Deductible Demand Under Endogenous Premium Rates," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 87(2), pages 477-500, June.
    12. Lee Yong-Woo & Lee Yong-Ju, 2019. "The Effects of Copayments on Healthcare Utilization in Korea’s Medical Aid Program," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 1-17, July.
    13. Kurt J. Lavetti & Thomas DeLeire & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2019. "How Do Low-Income Enrollees in the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces Respond to Cost-Sharing?," NBER Working Papers 26430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Niklas Jakobsson & Mikael Svensson, 2016. "The effect of copayments on primary care utilization: results from a quasi-experiment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(39), pages 3752-3762, August.
    15. repec:zbw:rwirep:0545 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Udo Schneider & Roland Linder & Frank Verheyen, 2016. "Long-term sick leave and the impact of a graded return-to-work program: evidence from Germany," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(5), pages 629-643, June.
    17. Woodard, Joshua, 2016. "Estimation of Insurance Deductible Demand under Endogenous Premium Rates," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236151, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    18. Arndt R. Reichert & Boris Augurzky & Harald Tauchmann, 2015. "Self‐Perceived Job Insecurity And The Demand For Medical Rehabilitation: Does Fear Of Unemployment Reduce Health Care Utilization?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 8-25, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    convalescent care; health spa; medical rehabilitation; price elasticities; SOEP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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