College of Medicine and Department of Economics
University of Arizona
Institutional Affiliation: University of Arizona
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2017||Physician Practice Style and Healthcare Costs: Evidence from Emergency Departments|
with Gautam Gowrisankaran, Pierre-Thomas Léger: w24155
We examine the variation across emergency department (ED) physicians in their resource use and health outcomes, and the relationship between ED resource use and future healthcare costs and outcomes. Our data record the initial treating hospital, ED physician, ED billed expenditures, and all interactions with the provincial health system within the subsequent 90 days for EDs in Montreal, Canada. Physicians in Montreal rotate across shifts between simple and difficult cases, implying a quasi-random assignment of patients to physicians conditional on the choice of ED. We consider three medical conditions that present frequently in the ED and for which mistreatment can result in dramatic consequences: angina, appendicitis, and transient ischemic attacks. To control for variation across physici...
|December 2016||Does Health IT Adoption Lead to Better Information or Worse Incentives?|
with Gautam Gowrisankaran, Jianjing Lin: w22873
We evaluate whether hospital adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) leads to increases in billing where financial gains are large or where hassle costs of complete coding are low. The 2007 Medicare payment reform varied both financial incentives and hassle costs of coding. We find no significant impact of financial incentives on billing levels, inconsistent with bill inflation. However, the reform led to increases in reported severity for medical relative to surgical patients at EMR hospitals, consistent with EMRs decreasing coding costs for medical patients. Greater post-reform completeness of coding with EMRs may increase Medicare costs by $689.6 million annually.