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Would Better Access to Preventive Care Reduce Use of Acute Care? Evidence from a Large-Scale Not-for-Profit Intervention in Alberta

J.C. Herbert Emery and Xiaoli Zheng

Canadian Public Policy, 2018, vol. 44, issue 1, 13-24

Abstract: We find that participants in a large-scale not-for-profit program that lowered financial barriers to accessing preventive health services of different types and different efficacies had statistically significant hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and use of general practitioner services avoided. Although our ability to interpret our estimates as causal effects is limited by the voluntary nature of participation in the program, our study highlights the potential of improved access to cost-effective upstream preventive care through tax assistance and direct public payment to address the fiscal challenges of the downstream medical treatment system.

Date: 2018
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