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Efficiency of health care delivery systems: effects of health insurance coverage

Melanie Cozad and Bruno Wichmann ()

Applied Economics, 2013, vol. 45, issue 29, 4082-4094

Abstract: Health insurance expansions may increase the demand for care-creating incentives for health systems to increase input consumption. The possibility remains that added capacity and personnel will have little effect on health outcomes, decreasing the technical efficiency of health care delivery systems. We estimate that a 1 percentage point increase in health insurance coverage decreases the technical efficiency of health care delivery by 1.3 percentage points, translating into approximately 50 billion dollars in additional health expenditures. This finding uncovers a previously unexplored consequence of changes in health insurance on the supply side of health care markets suggesting one avenue through which health care costs growth may occur.

Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2012.750420

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