Complementing Public Care with Private: Evidence from Veterans Choice Act

60 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2023

See all articles by Hiroki Saruya

Hiroki Saruya

Yale University

Todd Wagner

Stanford University - VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Diana Zhu

Yale University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

We study the effect of complementing public health care with private care. Leveraging a policy at the Veterans Health Administration that generates discontinuity in private care access, we find that expanding coverage to private care increases private outpatient care by $53 (SE: 5) and decreases VA outpatient care by $20 (SE: 7), with no impact on inpatient care. The policy led to a marginally significant 0.1 p.p. (2.8%, SE: 0.04) decrease in one-year mortality, possibly because of decreased wait times and increased access to certain specialty care. Given our estimates, the benefit of access expansion significantly outweighs the increased costs.

Keywords: Veterans, Healthcare Access, Public Health Care, Public Policy, regression discontinuity

Suggested Citation

Saruya, Hiroki and Wagner, Todd and Zhu, Diana, Complementing Public Care with Private: Evidence from Veterans Choice Act. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4645730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4645730

Hiroki Saruya (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

Todd Wagner

Stanford University - VA Palo Alto Health Care System ( email )

291 Campus Drive
Li Ka Shing Building
Stanford, CA 94305-5101
United States

Diana Zhu

Yale University ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

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