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The effects of copayment in primary health care: evidence from a natural experiment

Maynou, Laia, Coll-de-Tuero, Gabriel and Saez, Marc (2019) The effects of copayment in primary health care: evidence from a natural experiment. European Journal of Health Economics, 20 (8). pp. 1237-1248. ISSN 1618-7601

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10198-019-01089-4


Objective: Evaluate the effects of the ‘euro per prescription’ on primary health care services (number of doctor visits), through a retrospective cohort study of health care users in Catalonia (Spain). This policy, implemented in Catalonia on 23 June 2012, only lasted 6 months. This policy was introduced to improve budgetary imbalances in Spain and boost the regional and national governments’ budgets. Methods: We used a retrospective cohort, composed of individuals who had had contact with primary healthcare services between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2012. The econometric specification followed is a hurdle model. Results: Our results show that from October 2012 onwards there was a decrease in the average number of overall visits, particularly for individuals aged 65 years or more. However, this decline cannot be entirely attributed to the introduction of the euro per prescription policy as in October of that same year the Spanish government introduced its pharmaceutical copayment for pensioners. Conclusions: The policies appraised in this paper reveal a clear deterrent effect among vulnerable individuals such as those with the highest probability of being unemployed and/or those individuals with chronic conditions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C5 - Econometric Modeling > C50 - General
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C1 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: General > C11 - Bayesian Analysis
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H71 - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 12:54
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 01:33

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