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Estimating Heterogeneity in the Benefits of Medical Treatment Intensity

William Evans and Craig L. Garthwaite

No 15309, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Federal and state laws passed in the late 1990 increased considerably postpartum stays for newborns. Using all births in California over the 1995-2001 period, 2SLS estimates suggest that for the average newborn impacted by the law, increased treatment intensity had modest and statistically insignificant (p-value>0.05) impacts on readmission probabilities. Allowing the treatment effect to vary by pre-existing conditions or the pre-law propensity score of being discharged early, two objective measures of medical need, demonstrates that the law had large and statistically significant impacts for those with the greatest likelihood of a readmission. These results demonstrate heterogeneity in the returns to greater treatment intensity, and the returns to the average and marginal patient vary considerably.

JEL-codes: I10 I12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
Date: 2009-09
Note: CH HC HE
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Published as William N. Evans & Craig Garthwaite, 2012. "Estimating Heterogeneity in the Benefits of Medical Treatment Intensity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 635-649, August.

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