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Capacity and Utilization in Health Care: The Effect of Empty Beds on Neonatal Intensive Care Admission

65 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2014 Last revised: 19 Mar 2015

Seth Freedman

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: March 18, 2015

Abstract

Because geographic variation in medical care utilization is jointly determined by both supply and demand, it is difficult to empirically estimate whether capacity itself has a causal impact on utilization in health care. In this paper, I exploit short-term variation in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) capacity that is unlikely to be correlated with unobserved demand determinants. I find that available NICU beds have little to no effect on NICU utilization for the sickest infants, but do increase utilization for those in the range of birth weights where admission decisions are likely to be more discretionary.

Keywords: Healthcare Utilization, Infant Health, Provider Behavior

JEL Classification: I11, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Freedman, Seth, Capacity and Utilization in Health Care: The Effect of Empty Beds on Neonatal Intensive Care Admission (March 18, 2015). Indiana University, Bloomington School of Public & Environmental Affairs Research Paper No. 2456305. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2456305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2456305

Seth Freedman (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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