Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

59 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022

See all articles by Augustine Denteh

Augustine Denteh

Tulane University - Department of Economics

Helge Liebert

University of Zurich

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Abstract

We provide new insights regarding the finding that Medicaid increased emergency department (ED) use from the Oregon experiment. We find meaningful heterogeneous impacts of Medicaid on ED use using causal machine learning methods. The treatment effect distribution is widely dispersed, and the average effect is not representative of most individualized treatment effects. A small group—about 14% of participants—in the right tail of the distribution drives the overall effect. We identify priority groups with economically significant increases in ED usage based on demographics and prior utilization. Intensive margin effects are an important driver of increases in ED utilization.

Keywords: Medicaid, ED use, effect heterogeneity, causal machine learning, optimal policy

JEL Classification: H75, I13, I38

Suggested Citation

Denteh, Augustine and Liebert, Helge, Who Increases Emergency Department Use? New Insights from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15192, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4114765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4114765

Augustine Denteh (Contact Author)

Tulane University - Department of Economics ( email )

New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Helge Liebert

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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