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The Impacts of Physician Payments on Patient Access, Use, and Health

Diane Alexander and Molly Schnell

No 26095, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We examine how supply-side health insurance generosity affects patient access, use, and health. Exploiting large, exogenous changes in Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians, we find that increasing payments for new patient office visits reduces reports of providers turning away beneficiaries: closing the gap in payments between Medicaid and private insurers would reduce more than two-thirds of disparities in access among adults and would eliminate such disparities entirely among children. These improvements in access lead to more office visits, better self-reported health, and reduced school absenteeism. While attention is often focused on the role of demand-side insurance generosity, such as program eligibility and patient cost-sharing, our results demonstrate that financial incentives for physicians drive access to care and have important implications for patient health.

JEL-codes: H51 H75 I13 I14 I18 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ias and nep-pbe
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