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The impact of long-term care on primary care doctor consultations for people over 75 years

Julien Forder, Katerina Gousia () and Eirini-Christina Saloniki ()
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Julien Forder: University of Kent
Katerina Gousia: University of Kent

The European Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 20, issue 3, No 5, 375-387

Abstract: Abstract Many countries are adopting policies to create greater coordination and integration between acute and long-term care services. This policy is predicated on the assumption that these service areas have interdependent outcomes for patients. In this paper, we study the interdependencies between the long-term (home care) services and consultations with a primary care doctor, as used by people over 75 years. Starting with a model of individual’s demand for doctor consultations, given supply, we formalize the hypothesis that exogenous increases to home care supply will reduce the number of consultations where these services are technical substitutes. Furthermore, greater coordination of public service planning and use of pooled budgets could lead to better outcomes because planners can account for these externalities. We test our main hypothesis using data from the British Household Panel Study for 1991–2009. To address potential concerns about endogeneity, we use a set of instrumental variables for home care motivated by institutional features of the social care system. We find that there is a statistically significant substitution effect between home care and doctor visits, which is robust across a range of specifications. This result has implications for policies that consider increased coordination between health care and social care systems.

Keywords: Substitution; Social care; Primary care; Older people (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I12 I19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10198-018-0999-6

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