Nursing Home Quality as a Public Good
There has been much debate among economists about whether nursing home quality is a public good across Medicaid and private-pay patients within a common facility. However, there has been only limited empirical work addressing this issue. Using a unique individual level panel of residents of nursing homes from seven states, we exploit both within-facility and within-patient variation in payer source and quality to examine this issue. We also test the robustness of these results across states with different Medicaid and private-pay rate differentials. Across our various identification strategies, the results generally support the idea that quality is a public good within nursing homes. That is, within a common nursing home, there is very little evidence to suggest that Medicaid-funded residents receive consistently lower quality care relative to their private-paying counterparts.