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Journal of Health Economics

Anna Chorniy, Janet Currie, Lyudmyla Sonchak
In the U.S., nearly 11% of school-age children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and approximately 10% of children suffer from asthma. In the last decade, the number of children diagnosed with these conditions has inexplicably been on the rise. This increase has been concentrated in the Medicaid caseload nationwide. One of the most striking changes in Medicaid has been the transition from fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement to Medicaid managed care (MMC), which had taken place in 80% of states by 2016. Using Medicaid claims from South Carolina, we show that this change contributed to the increase in asthma and ADHD caseloads...
May 7, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Cory Capps, David Dranove, Christopher Ody
During the past decade, U.S. hospitals have acquired a large number of physician practices. For example, from 2007 to 2013, hospitals acquired nearly 10% of the practices in our sample. We find that the prices for the services provided by acquired physicians increase by an average of 14.1% post-acquisition. Nearly half of this increase is attributable to the exploitation of payment rules. Price increases are larger when the acquiring hospital has a larger share of its inpatient market. We find that integration of primary care physicians increases enrollee spending by 4...
April 22, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Corina Mommaerts
This paper measures the extent to which the price of nursing home care affects a potential substitute living arrangement: coresidence with adult children. Exploiting variation in state Medicaid income "spend-down" provisions over time, I find that living in a state with a spend-down provision decreases the prevalence of coresidence with adult children by 1-4 percentage points for single elderly individuals, with a corresponding increase in the use of nursing home care. These findings suggest that changes in Medicaid eligibility for long-term care benefits could have large impacts on living arrangements, care utilization patterns, and Medicaid expenditures...
April 21, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Anton Nilsson, Alexander Paul
This paper estimates the effect of cost-sharing on the demand for children's and adolescents' use of medical care. We use a large population-wide registry dataset including detailed information on contacts with the health care system as well as family income. Two different estimation strategies are used: regression discontinuity design exploiting age thresholds above which fees are charged, and difference-in-differences models exploiting policy changes. We also estimate combined regression discontinuity difference-in-differences models that take into account discontinuities around age thresholds caused by factors other than cost-sharing...
April 16, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Resul Cesur, Erdal Tekin, Aydogan Ulker
There has been a widespread displacement of coal by natural gas as space heating and cooking technology in Turkey in the last two decades, triggered by the deployment of natural gas networks. We examine the impact of this development on mortality among adults and the elderly by exploiting the variation in the timing of the deployment and the intensity of expansion of gas networks across provinces using data from 2001 to 2016. The results indicate that the expansion of natural gas has caused significant reductions in mortality among both adults and the elderly...
April 7, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Hans Bloemen, Stefan Hochguertel, Jochem Zweerink
This paper estimates the effect of job loss on mortality for older male workers with a strong labor force attachment. Using Dutch administrative data, we find that job loss due to firm closure increased the probability of death within five years by a sizable 0.60 percentage points. Importantly, this effect is estimated using a model that controls for firm-level worker characteristics, such as lagged firm-level annual average mortality rates. On the mechanism driving the effect of job loss on mortality, we provide evidence for an effect running through stress and changes in life style...
April 1, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Guy David, Philip A Saynisch, Aaron Smith-McLallen
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a widely-implemented model for improving primary care, emphasizing care coordination, information technology, and process improvements. However, its treatment as an undifferentiated intervention in policy evaluation obscures meaningful variation in implementation. This heterogeneity leads to contracting inefficiencies between insurers and practices and may account for mixed evidence on its success. Using a novel dataset we group practices into meaningful implementation clusters and then link these clusters with detailed patient claims data...
March 27, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Ana María Costa-Ramón, Ana Rodríguez-González, Miquel Serra-Burriel, Carlos Campillo-Artero
Cesarean sections have been associated in the literature with poorer newborn health, particularly with a higher incidence of respiratory morbidity. Most studies suffer, however, from potential omitted variable bias, as they are based on simple comparisons of mothers who give birth vaginally and those who give birth by cesarean section. We try to overcome this limitation and provide credible causal evidence by using variation in the probability of having a c-section that is arguably unrelated to maternal and fetal characteristics: variation by time of day...
March 27, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Guy David, Kunhee Lucy Kim
Effective workforce assignment has the potential for improving performance. Using novel home health data combining provider work logs, personnel data, and detailed patient records, we estimate the effect of provider handoffs-a marker of care discontinuity-on hospital readmissions, an important performance measure for healthcare systems. We use workflow interruption caused by attrition and providers' work inactivity as an instrument for nurse handoffs. We find handoffs to substantially increase hospital readmissions...
March 27, 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Léontine Goldzahl, Guillaume Hollard, Florence Jusot
Early screening increases the likelihood of detecting cancer, thereby improving survival rates. National screening programs have been established in which eligible women receive a letter containing a voucher for a free screening. Even so, mammography use is often considered as remaining too low. We test four behavioral interventions in a large-scale randomized experiment involving 26,495 women. Our main assumption is that, due to biases in decision-making, women may be sensitive to the content and presentation of the invitation letter they receive...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Marco Bertoni, Giorgio Brunello, Gianluca Mazzarella
By increasing the residual working horizon of employed individuals, pension reforms that rise minimum retirement age can affect individual investment in health-promoting behaviors before retirement. Using the expected increase in minimum retirement age induced by a 2004 Italian pension reform and a difference-in-differences research design, we show that middle-aged Italian males affected by the reform reacted to the longer working horizon by increasing regular exercise, with positive consequences for obesity and self-reported satisfaction with health...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Mariana Carrera, Heather Royer, Mark Stehr, Justin Sydnor
Can financial incentives aid habit formation in people attempting to establish a positive health behavior? We provide evidence on this question from a randomized controlled trial of modest-sized incentives to attend the gym among new members of a fitness facility. Our experiment randomized 690 participants into a control group that received a $30 payment unconditionally or one of 3 incentive groups that received a payment for attending the gym at least 9 times over the first 6 weeks of membership. Two incentive treatment arms offered monetary payments of $30 and $60...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Jason M Lindo, María Padilla-Romo
This study considers the effects of the kingpin strategy, an approach to fighting organized crime in which law-enforcement efforts focus on capturing the leaders of criminal organizations, on community violence in the context of Mexico's drug war. Newly constructed historical data on drug-trafficking organizations' areas of operation at the municipality level and monthly homicide data allow us to control for a rich set of fixed effects and to leverage variation in the timing of kingpin captures to estimate their effects...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
J Michelle Brock, Andreas Lange, Kenneth L Leonard
We test the value of unconditional non-monetary gifts as a way to improve health worker performance in a low income country health setting. We randomly assigned health workers to different gift treatments within a program that visited health workers, measured performance and encouraged them to provide high quality care for their patients. We show that unconditional non-monetary gifts improve performance by 20 percent over a six-week period, compared to the control group. We compare the impact of the unconditional gift to one in which a gift is offered conditional on meeting a performance target and show that only the unconditional gift results in a statistically significant improvement...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Rachel Griffith, Stephanie von Hinke, Sarah Smith
There is growing policy interest in encouraging better dietary choices. We study a nationally-implemented policy - the UK Healthy Start scheme - that introduced vouchers for fruit, vegetables and milk. We show that the policy has increased spending on fruit and vegetables and has been more effective than an equivalent-value cash benefit. We also show that the policy improved the nutrient composition of households' shopping baskets, with no offsetting changes in spending on other foodstuffs.
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Jan-Walter De Neve, Günther Fink
While a large literature has investigated the role of parental human capital on children's well-being, relatively little is known regarding the effects of human capital investment in children on long run outcomes of parents. In this study we explore the human capital variations created by the 1974 Tanzania education reform to estimate the effect of children's primary schooling attainment on parental survival. Using 5,026,315 census records from 1988, 2002, and 2012, we show that the 1974 reform resulted in an additional 1...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Eskil Heinesen, Susumu Imai, Shiko Maruyama
Previous studies find significant negative effects of cancer on employment, with stronger effects for less-educated workers. We investigate whether the effect of cancer varies by skill requirement in the pre-cancer occupation, whether such heterogeneity can explain educational gradients, and whether cancer is associated with changes in job characteristics for cancer survivors who remain employed four years after the diagnosis. We combine Danish administrative registers with detailed skill requirement data and use individuals without cancer as a control group...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Thomas Wiseman
I study the interplay among competition, contractual commitment, income risk, and saving and borrowing in insuring consumers against both short-term healthcare expenses and longer-term changes in health status. Examining different combinations of firms' ability to commit to long-term contracts, consumers' access to credit markets, and the availability of termination fees helps to highlight sources of inefficiency.
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Osea Giuntella, Catia Nicodemo, Carlos Vargas-Silva
This paper analyzes the effects of immigration on waiting times for the National Health Service (NHS) in England. Linking administrative records from Hospital Episode Statistics (2003-2012) with immigration data drawn from the UK Labour Force Survey, we find that immigration reduced waiting times for outpatient referrals and did not have significant effects on waiting times in accident and emergency departments (A&E) and elective care. The reduction in outpatient waiting times can be explained by the fact that immigration increases natives' internal mobility and that immigrants tend to be healthier than natives who move to different areas...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
Gautam Gowrisankaran, Claudio Lucarelli, Philipp Schmidt-Dengler, Robert Town
This paper seeks to understand the impact of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program on hospital choice and consumer welfare for rural residents. The Flex Program created a new class of hospital, the Critical Access Hospital (CAH), which receives more generous Medicare reimbursements in return for limits on capacity and length of stay. We find that conversion to CAH status resulted in a 4.7 percent drop in inpatient admissions to participating hospitals, almost all of which was driven by factors other than capacity constraints...
March 2018: Journal of Health Economics
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