Modeling Health Care Expenditures and Use
Posted: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: April 2018
Health care expenditures and use are challenging to model because these dependent variables typically have distributions that are skewed with a large mass at zero. In this article, we describe estimation and interpretation of the effects of a natural experiment using two classes of nonlinear statistical models: one for health care expenditures and the other for counts of health care use. We extend prior analyses to test the effect of the ACA's young adult expansion on three different outcomes: total health care expenditures, office-based visits, and emergency department visits. Modeling the outcomes with a two-part or hurdle model, instead of a single-equation model, reveals that the ACA policy increased the number of office-based visits but decreased emergency department visits and overall spending.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation