NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Michael Fischer

Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoecono
Brigham & Women's Hospital/ Harvard Medical School
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 1994Physician Payments and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Fee Policy
with Janet Currie, Jonathan Gruber: w4930
While efforts to improve the health of the uninsured have focused on demand side policies such as increasing insurance coverage, supply side changes may be equally important. Yet there is little direct evidence on the effect of policies designed to increase the supply of Medicaid services to the poor. We provide such evidence by examining the relationship between infant mortality and the ratio of Medicaid fees to private fees for obstetrician/gynecologists. We build a state and year specific index of the fee ratio for 1979-1992, a period of substantial variation in relative Medicaid fees. We find that increases in fee ratios are associated with significant declines in the infant mortality rate. We also find that higher fees raise payments made to physicians and clinics under the Medic...

Published: American Economic Review, May 1995, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 106-111 citation courtesy of

 
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