December 8, 2023

Fascinating paper from Ziedan, Simon and Wing (2023):

The contraction in well being care consumption initially of the pandemic supplies perception into central financial questions of waste and productiveness within the U.S. well being care system. Utilizing linked mortality and Digital Medical Data, we examine individuals who had outpatient appointments scheduled for dates in 30 day durations instantly earlier than and after the Covid-19 emergency declaration. Appointment cancellation charges had been 77% larger for folks with appointments within the shutdown interval. Intent to deal with estimates indicate that having a scheduled appointment date proper after the emergency declaration elevated one-year mortality charges by 4 deaths per 10,000. Instrumental variable estimates recommend {that a} cancelled appointment elevated one-year mortality by 29.7 deaths per 10,000 amongst compliers, implying {that a} 10% improve in well being care appointments reduces mortality charges by 2.9%. The mortality results are rooted in two mechanisms: a complier sub-population with excessive marginal advantages from care, and a cascade of delayed or missed follow-up care that lasted for about 3 months. Healthcare spending accounted for 19.7% of U.S. GDP in 2021, and controlling well being spending is a significant coverage goal. Our outcomes quantify well being tradeoffs from slicing every-day non-emergency visits, illustrating the significance of cost-control efforts that differentiate between medical care with the most important and smallest advantages for affected person well being.

Additionally within the NBER Bulletin on Well being, Acton et al. (2022) discover that:

…school vaccine mandates decreased new COVID-19 instances by 339 per 100,000 county residents and new deaths by 5.4 per 100,000 residents, with an estimated worth of lives saved between $9.7 million and $27.4 million per 100,000 residents. These figures recommend that the mandates decreased complete US COVID-19 deaths in autumn 2021 by roughly 5%.

The total NBER Bulletin on Well being is here.