Ambulance Utilization in New York City after the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

27 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018 Last revised: 23 May 2021

See all articles by Charles Courtemanche

Charles Courtemanche

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Andrew Friedson

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

Expanding insurance coverage could, by insulating patients from having to pay full cost, encourage the utilization of arguably unnecessary medical services. It could also eliminate (or at least diminish) the need for emergency services through increasing access to preventive care. Using publicly available data from New York City for the period 2013-2016, we explore the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the volume and composition of ambulance dispatches. Consistent with the argument that expanding insurance coverage encourages the utilization of unnecessary medical services, we find that, as compared to dispatches for more severe injuries, dispatches for minor injuries rose sharply after the implementation of the ACA. By contrast, dispatches for pre-labor pregnancy complications decreased as compared to dispatches for women in labor.

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles and Friedson, Andrew and Rees, Daniel I., Ambulance Utilization in New York City after the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (April 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24480, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158919

Charles Courtemanche (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States
404-413-0082 (Phone)

Andrew Friedson

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
United States

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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