Home care, hospitalizations, and doctor visits

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Judite Goncalves ; France Weaver (2014)
  • Publisher: Geneva School of Economics and Management Working Paper Series,Geneva
  • Subject: Home care; Hospitalizations; Doctor visits; Instrumental variables

This study estimates the effects of formal home care on hospitalizations and doctor visits. We compare the effects of medically- and non-medically-related home care and investigate heterogeneous effects by age group and informal care availability. Two-part models are estimated, using data from Switzerland. In this federal country, home care policy is decentralized into cantons (i.e. states). The endogeneity of home care is addressed by using instrumental variables, canton and time fixed effects. We instrument canton-level home care use with home care prices and education expenditures. While medically-related home care reduces length of stay below 60 days, non-medically-related home care increases stays beyond 10 days. Non-medically-related home care also reduces the number of GP visits. However, all these effects are small. Both types of home care tend to have stronger effects among the 65+ and those with informal care available in their household.
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