Health IT and Ambulatory Care Quality

31 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2016 Last revised: 26 Aug 2016

See all articles by Carole R. Gresenz

Carole R. Gresenz

Georgetown University Medical Center; RAND Corporation - Santa Monica CA Offices

Scott Laughery

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 18, 2016

Abstract

US government investments in health information technology (IT) reflect the significant promise of digitization for improving quality and efficiency in health care. Previous studies of the impact of health IT have focused on the hospital setting, despite the fact that most care is delivered in ambulatory settings. This paper addresses the research omission by studying the effects of healthcare IT on ambulatory care, which we measure using the rate of hospital admissions for conditions identified as sensitive to ambulatory care quality in data drawn from Medicare and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Results from difference-in-differences models that control for location and time fixed effects, as well as observable factors related to healthcare quality and population demographics, indicate that increased ambulatory IT adoption lowers local area ambulatory care sensitive (ACS) hospitalizations, suggesting quality improvements. The magnitudes imply that a 45% increase in ambulatory IT adoption in a county (the average increase over our sample period 2003-2012) lowers the ACS admission rate in that county by about 1.6%.

Suggested Citation

Roan Gresenz, Carole and Laughery, Scott and Miller, Amalia R. and Tucker, Catherine E., Health IT and Ambulatory Care Quality (August 18, 2016). RAND Working Paper Series WR- 1131. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2793559 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2793559

Carole Roan Gresenz (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Medical Center ( email )

4000 Reservoir Road, N.W., Suite 120
Washington, DC 20057
United States

RAND Corporation - Santa Monica CA Offices ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 Ext. 7265 (Phone)
310-393-4818 (Fax)

Scott Laughery

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

Amalia R. Miller

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~am5by/

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )

100 Main St
E62-536
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu

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