65 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2014 Last revised: 19 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 18, 2015
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: 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