D. P. Kessler

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We estimate the effects of hospital competition on the level of and the variation in quality of care and hospital expenditures for elderly Medicare beneficiaries with heart attack. We compare competition's effects on more-severely ill patients, whom we assume value quality more highly, to the effects on less-severely ill, low-valuation patients. We find(More)
The recent rise of specialty hospitals--typically for-profit firms that are at least partially owned by physicians--has led to substantial debate about their effects on the cost and quality of care. Advocates of specialty hospitals claim they improve quality and lower cost; critics contend they concentrate on providing profitable procedures and attracting(More)
In this paper, we estimate the effect of the tax preference for health insurance on health care spending using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys from 1996-2005. We use the fact that Social Security taxes are only levied on earnings below a statutory threshold to identify the impact of the tax preference. Because employer-sponsored health(More)
During the contest for Kansas attorney general in 2006, an organization sent out 6 pieces of mail criticizing the incumbent's conduct in office. We exploit a discontinuity in the rule used to select which households received the mailings to identify the causal effect of mail on vote choice and voter turnout. We find these mailings had both a statistically(More)
INTRODUCTION The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Knowledge Sources embody a rich source of medical knowledge. We sought to extract a portion of this knowledge by incorporating information about relationships between UMLS concepts into an existing problem list vocabulary. METHODS We matched terms from the coded problem list of The Medical Record(More)
Recent legislation has expanded the jurisdiction of the federal government over crimes that were traditionally prohibited only by state law. Previous work has neglected the potentially important role of prosecutors' incentives in allocating cases to the federal and state systems. We model the decision-making process of state and federal prosecutors, and,(More)
Although the direct costs of the medical liability system account for a small fraction of total health spending, the system's indirect effects on cost and quality of care can be much more important. Here, we summarise findings of existing research on the effects of the medical liability systems of Australia, the UK, and the USA. We find systematic evidence(More)
Executive summary The extent to which health care providers cost shift-increase the price or markup charged to one group of patients in response to a decrease in another group's price or markup-has been the subject of extensive and long-standing policy debates. In practice, cost shifting means that purchasers of private health insurance effectively pay a(More)
Conventional outcomes report cards– public disclosure of information about the patient-background-adjusted health outcomes of individual hospitals and physicians-may help improve quality, but they may also encourage providers to " game " the system by avoiding sick and/or seeking healthy patients. In this paper, I propose an alternative approach: ranking(More)
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. ABSTRACT In this paper, we estimate the effect of the tax preference for insurance on health spending based on the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys from 1996-2005. We use the fact that Social Security taxes are only(More)