Competition, Insurance, and Quality in the Market for Advanced Infertility Treatment

49 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2004

See all articles by Barton H. Hamilton

Barton H. Hamilton

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business

Brian McManus

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

For the 10%-15% of American married couples who experience reproductive problems, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the leading technologically advanced treatment procedure. Two important issues are at the center of policy debates regarding IVF markets: 1) expanding access to infertility treatment, and 2) encouraging IVF clinics and patients to minimize the risk of multiple births, which can be expensive and dangerous. This paper evaluates the two principle policy proposals - insurance mandates and competition restrictions - for meeting these issues. Insurance mandates, which require that insurers pay for a couple's initial IVF treatments, succeed in attracting more patients into the market while also reducing multiple birth risks, but mandates may unfavorably affect clinics' incentives to use new treatment technology. Competition restrictions have been proposed as a way to reduce risky behavior by clinics and patients, but we find that this reasoning does not apply to the U.S. IVF market. Like insurance mandates, additional competition can substantially increase the number of patients while reducing the multiple birth rate.

Keywords: Infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF), access to IVF treatment, multiple births, insurance mandates, competition restrictions

JEL Classification: I110, L100

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Barton H. and McManus, Brian, Competition, Insurance, and Quality in the Market for Advanced Infertility Treatment (January 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=488264 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.488264

Barton H. Hamilton (Contact Author)

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business ( email )

One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
314-935-8057 (Phone)
314-935-6359 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/hamiltonb/

Brian McManus

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
172
Abstract Views
1,668
rank
182,699
PlumX Metrics