The impact of increased patient cost-sharing on pediatric avoidable hospitalizations for SCHIP beneficiaries in the state of Florida
This study uses difference-in-difference econometric techniques to examine whether beneficiaries in one of the state of Florida's State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) have a higher probability of experiencing an pediatric avoidable hospitalization after a cost-sharing increase on July 1, 2003 than prior to the increase. The health care literature suggests that a cost-sharing increase may lead to an increase in pediatric avoidable hospitalizations as patients reduce their consumption of necessary and preventive care, and obtain care only once a condition has become unmanageable. It is predicted that the probability of experiencing an avoidable hospitalization will significantly increase; however, the regression results suggest that there is no statistically significant increase in avoidable hospitalizations. Future research that compares data across states with different levels of cost-sharing for the same SCHIP programs (rather than SCHIP versus Medicaid) might yield more fruitful results than have been obtained here.