The Massachusetts health care reform reduced emergency room visits

I just spotted a new paper by Sarah Miller (a fellow Messiaen fan), who seems to be on the job market this year from U. Illinois:

Abstract:This paper analyzes the impact of a major health reform in Massachusetts on emergency room (ER) visits. I exploit the variation in pre-reform uninsurance rate across counties to identify the causal effect of the reform on ER visits. My estimates imply that the reform reduced ER usage by about 8 percent, nearly all of which is accounted for by a reduction in non-urgent visits that could be treated in alternative settings. In contrast, I find no effect for non-preventable emergencies such as heart attacks. These estimates are consistent with a large causal effect of insurance on ER usage and imply that expanding insurance coverage could have a substantial impact on the efficiency of health services.

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to Stuxnet and related topics by Thursday.

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