NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Seeing the Doctor More Often Keep You Out of the Hospital?

Robert Kaestner, Anthony T. Lo Sasso

NBER Working Paper No. 18255
Issued in July 2012
NBER Program(s):   HE

By exploiting a unique health insurance benefit design, we provide novel evidence on the causal association between outpatient and inpatient care. Our results indicate that greater outpatient spending was associated with more hospital admissions: a $100 increase in outpatient spending was associated with a 2.7% increase in the probability of having an inpatient event and a 4.6% increase in inpatient spending among enrollees in our sample. Moreover, we present evidence that the increase in hospital admissions associated with greater outpatient spending was for conditions in which it is plausible to argue that the physician and patient could exercise discretion.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18255

Published: Kaestner, Robert & Sasso, Anthony T. Lo, 2015. "Does seeing the doctor more often keep you out of the hospital?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 259-272. citation courtesy of

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