What Does a Provider Network Do? Evidence from Random Assignment in Medicaid Managed Care

119 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2020 Last revised: 3 Mar 2021

See all articles by Jacob Wallace

Jacob Wallace

Yale University - School of Public Health

Date Written: May 7, 2019

Abstract

Leveraging the random assignment of over 50,000 Medicaid enrollees in New York, I present causal evidence that narrow networks are a blunt instrument for reducing health care spending. While narrower networks constrain spending, they do so by generating hassle costs that reduce quantity, with modest effects on prices paid to providers. Enrollees assigned to narrower networks use fewer of both needed and unneeded services, and are less satisfied in their plans. Using my causal estimates to construct counterfactuals, I identify an alternative assignment policy that reduces spending without harming satisfaction by matching consumers with narrower networks that include their providers.

Keywords: health economics, health care, Medicaid

JEL Classification: H75, I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Wallace, Jacob, What Does a Provider Network Do? Evidence from Random Assignment in Medicaid Managed Care (May 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3544928 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3544928

Jacob Wallace (Contact Author)

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

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