The Impact of Health Insurance Expansion on Physician Treatment Choice: Medicare Part D and Physician Prescribing

48 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2014 Last revised: 31 Jan 2021

See all articles by Tianyan Hu

Tianyan Hu

University of Pennsylvania

Sandra Decker

Government of the United States of America - Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

Sandra L. Decker

International Longevity Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

We test the effect of the introduction of Medicare Part D on physician prescribing behavior by using data on physician visits from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) 2002-2004 and 2006-2009 for patients aged 60-69. We use a combined DD-RD specification that is an improvement over either the difference-in-difference (DD) or regression discontinuity (RD) designs. Comparing the discrete jump in outcomes at age 65 before and after 2006, we find a 35% increase in the number of prescription drugs prescribed or continued per visit and a 55% increase in the number of generic drugs prescribed or continued, providing evidence of physician response to changes in patient out-of-pocket costs.

Suggested Citation

Hu, Tianyan and Decker, Sandra and Decker, Sandra L. and Chou, Shin-Yi, The Impact of Health Insurance Expansion on Physician Treatment Choice: Medicare Part D and Physician Prescribing (November 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20708, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2532289

Tianyan Hu (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Sandra Decker

Government of the United States of America - Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) ( email )

540 Gaither Road, Suite 2000
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

Sandra L. Decker

International Longevity Center ( email )

60 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Shin-Yi Chou

Lehigh University - Department of Economics ( email )

620 Taylor Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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