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Substance Use Treatment Provider Behavior and Healthcare Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts

Johanna Maclean and Brendan Saloner ()
Additional contact information
Brendan Saloner: Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University

No 1511, DETU Working Papers from Department of Economics, Temple University

Abstract: Major expansions of health insurance coverage provide new revenue opportunities for safety-net providers, but may also create new capacity pressures for these providers. We examine the impact of the 2006 Massachusetts healthcare reform on substance use disorder (SUD) treatment - a type of safety net healthcare – providers' behaviors using a differences-in-differences design. We test whether the reform influenced admissions, daily censuses (the number of clients in treatment on a given day), services offered, and accepted forms of payment. Our findings suggest that Massachusetts providers altered their care practices following the reform. Admissions increased by 17.1% and daily censuses increased by 4.7%. The number of services offered increased by 3.5%, programs for special populations decreased by 24.1%, and use of pharmacotherapies increased by 11.3%. Massachusetts providers increased acceptance of private insurance increased by 2.7%. We find that such providers were less likely to accept self-pay (1.7%) and provide uncompensated care (1.4%). Responsiveness was generally greater for for-profit than nonprofit providers. These findings suggest that, following major healthcare reform, Massachusetts SUD treatment providers absorbed a larger number of individuals seeking treatment, but effects on quality of care were somewhat mixed and individuals without insurance may have experienced difficulty in accessing care.

Keywords: healthcare; safety net; provider behavior; substance use disorders; healthcare reform (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 I11 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-ias
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://www.cla.temple.edu/RePEc/documents/DETU_15_11.pdf First version, 2015 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Substance Use Treatment Provider Behavior and Healthcare Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts (2018) Downloads
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