Medical Regulation and Health Outcomes: The Impact of the Physician Examination Requirement

49 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2010 Last revised: 20 Sep 2013

See all articles by Anca Cotet Grecu

Anca Cotet Grecu

Seton Hall University

Daniel K. Benjamin

Clemson University, College of Business and Behavioral Science, John E. Walker Department of Economics ; PERC

Date Written: September 29, 2010

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact on health outcomes of the regulation prohibiting physicians from prescribing drugs without a prior physical examination. This requirement could improve health by reducing illegal access to prescription drugs. But it reduces access to health care by making it more difficult for patient and physician to use many forms of telemedicine. Thus, this regulation generates a trade-off between access and safety. Our empirical results suggest that the physician examination requirement leads to an increase of approximately 14 percent in the number of days lost each month to illness and an increase in mortality rates of 0.4 percent, the equivalent of 33 more deaths per 1 million people. The magnitude of the impact is larger in rural areas, and in areas with low physician density.

Keywords: health outcomes, the physical examination requirement, safety-access trade-off, telemedicine

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Cotet Grecu, Anca and Benjamin, Daniel K., Medical Regulation and Health Outcomes: The Impact of the Physician Examination Requirement (September 29, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1576208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1576208

Anca Cotet Grecu (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

Daniel K. Benjamin

Clemson University, College of Business and Behavioral Science, John E. Walker Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

PERC ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States
406-587-9591 (Phone)
406-586-7555 (Fax)

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