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Poster ID #350


Conventional wisdom states if policy-makers set the goal of increasing the number of patients with health insurance, visits to the emergency room (ER) will decrease while visits to a usual source of care (USC), such as a general practitioner, will increase. In examining year 2007 of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, this study seeks to test this hypothesis by answering two questions: 1. Whether having insurance affects ER and USC utilization, and 2. Whether greater USC utilization affects ER utilization. The analysis accounts for endogeneity issues with insurance and USC utilization. In order to account for the discrete, non negative nature of the dependent variable as well as endogenous regressors, a Poisson regression within an instrumental variable framework is utilized. The results confirm the notion that, in general, the insured have lower ER utilization but higher USC utilization, but only USC utilization is statistically significant. Also, when considering the effect of USC visitation on ER visitation, ER visits increase, albeit slightly, with an increase in USC visits.


The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Do the insured make greater use of medical services?